Skip to main content

With respect to a diary that was recently top o' the rec list and a later front page article, I don't think the numbers are saying what some people want them to say.  In a nutshell nyceve and Digby (via the FP) referenced Charlie Cook's analysis of the recent WaPo/NBC polls, and Jed provided some extra material from Ben Smith's posting of the Pew numbers.  It's apparently a widespread conclusion among the blogger-pundits that Democrats are losing faith in their party, and are likely to get trounced in November.

However, both polls are simultaneously more interesting and less interesting than people may realize, and I don't really buy the angles that these analyses are selling.

So let's look at the raw data:

Are Democrats "demoralized" by the Democratic party's consistent "derision" for the party base?

The enthusiasm gap is an especially interesting one, but I think people are drawing if not the wrong conclusions, then strangely self-serving ones.  Let's take a look at the numbers from the Pew poll:

Enthusiasm among...19941998200220062010
Democrats3038404642
Republicans4542443056

The enthusiasm gap should concern us, but peak enthusiasm among Republicans shouldn't surprise us in the least.  Notice that Democratic peak enthusiasm took place when the Presidency and both chambers were in the hands of Republicans.  I don't think I have to connect those dots for you.

What's considerably more interesting to me, and the part that seems to be ignored here, is that Democratic enthusiasm is higher than anytime other than 2006: it's easy to notice the drop from the record-breaking highs of the last presidential election, but not the fact that we're more enthusiastic now than in off years like 1994, 1998, or 2002.  I don't think that's terribly good evidence of mass disillusionment by the base.  The Dem's lowest numbers are among the "liberal Democrats", whose 37% is nonetheless on par with previous years. (see update at end of diary)

Furthermore, let's cross-reference those enthusiasm numbers with the actual voting patterns in these off-year elections (for this and all graphs in the diary, I use the combined House election numbers directly from the House Clerk's website):

Leaving aside 2006 for the reasons I outlined above, these numbers aren't bad - in fact they're well above average.  That there's been a decline will make our GOTV more difficult in this election than in 2006 (or, gawd, the giddy highs of 2008), but our difficulties will be less due to an "angry, demoralized, and fed up" base, and more due to this:

Those are crazy high enthusiasm numbers, and it should simultaneously worry us and not surprise us.  The Republicans have been gunning for Obama since he was elected, and, much like the fully Republican government going into 2006 brought out Democrats in record numbers, so should the fully Democratic government bring out the highest in Republicans.  

And make no mistake: it is about hating Democrats.  However "angry, demoralized, and fed up" we may be, we still believe in Democratic policies.  Check out these crazy numbers from the WaPo/NBC poll last month (this question wasn't re-asked in June):

For those who prefer a Democratic-led Congress:

Do you prefer Democrats because...
You support Democrats policies49%
You oppose Republican policies48%

For those who prefer a Republican-led Congress:

Do you prefer Republicans because...
You support Republican policies31%
You oppose Democratic policies64%

Take a minute to soak up the awesomeness of those numbers: practically none of the people who will vote Republican support Republican policies.  In other words, if these two groups fielded equal numbers of voters, genuinely pro-Republican voters would make up some 15-16% of all votes tallied.  It's not policy that's prompting this surge of support for Republicans - it's hatred of Democrats, period.  The Pew Poll confirms this:

Despite the Republican Party’s favorable electoral prospects, its image with the public is still relatively weak. The public views the Democratic Party as more concerned about the needs of "people like me," more able to bring about needed change, and as governing in a more honest and ethical way.

Meanwhile, the Democratic numbers don't look great, but they look a fair lot better than those belonging to the Party of No.  We may be a scattered group, but we generally believe we have something to offer.

If there is widespread disillusionment because of health care, as nyceve suggests, it's certainly not showing up in the polls - or at the very least, few people consider it a priority: healthcare is a distant 6th in voter priorities, behind job creation (33%), the oil spill/energy (22%), deficit/spending (15%), national security (9%), and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (9%).  Even the combined trends that include both first and second choices put health care into a fourth, behind job creation (55% - take note, Dems!), deficit/spending (36%), and national security (27%).  

So, yeah: jobs, jobs, jobs.

Now, none of this means that the apparent downturn in enthusiasm for the Democrats shouldn't concern us: of course it should.  A lot.  The House in particular is going to be a close call, and a strong GOTV effort may indeed make the difference between a bad scenario and a much worse scenario.  We will lose seats in this election - this question is, how many?

But I don't buy that this is about widespread feelings of betrayal by Democratic voters, or at least I don't see any compelling evidence in the actual poll data to back that up.  What I see more evidence of is the apathy that comes of off-year incumbency on our side, combined with the energy that comes of being the minority party on theirs.  Republicans don't have to run on policy this time around, just as the most effective Democratic slogan of 2006 was "Had Enough?"  That makes their job a lot easier than ours, even if "the base" were pleased as punch over Congress' track record.

Of course what's bothered people is less the raw numbers themselves than the trends, and it's easy to understand why.  2008 was an annus mirabilis for Democrats, who found it easy to come out and support a young, charismatic president with a powerful message, especially on the heels of such a disastrous eight years.  Since then our enthusiasm numbers have slowly collapsed "like a flan in a cupboard."  But comparing our enthusiasm numbers to where we were during a presidential election year strikes me as unhelpful, for reasons that should be obvious:

Interest in elections slowly rises and falls with Presidential election years - that much is clear.  And unlike Republicans we don't have the blinding rage of minority-party status to drive up our enthusiasm.  The big question, the one that all these analyses should hinge on, is not why our numbers are declining, but whether they're declining faster or slower than we should expect.  Then we'd have a real basis for analyzing issues like atypical voter "anger", or whatever.

As blogger-pundits we have a tendency to think in narratives - for better or worse (and, yes, this sentence is another example of that.)  Sometimes, though, it's better to sit back and wonder if the narrative is getting ahead of the data.  In this case, I think it very well might be.

Likewise, am I applying my own less-disillusioned filter to the information?  That's a very good possibility, and that's why I'm presenting the numbers and the information to let you decide for yourself.  I've made the case that I believe more accurately reflects the numbers, but if you disagree, I'll be happy to consider your point of view.  Just, please, base it on something we can analyze (not personal feelings, not anecdotes, etc.), otherwise we're just whistling past each other.

Cheers!

++

Oh, one further note: I can't wait for the Great Immigration Debate to start.  Check these numbers from last month's WaPo/NBC poll:

(Hispanic/Latino voters only)

Which party better...DemocratsRepublicans
Protects the interests of minorities49%12%
Works for equality/against discrimination of minorities49%7%
Promotes strong moral values30%23%

Ha!  We're even beating them in the moral values department.  That's some pretty weak tea y'all are bagging, my Republican friends!

+++

Update/clarification: user bluicebank correctly noted that I was wrong about the 37% being a consistent number for the liberal Democrats.  Though Pew only gives data from 2002 on, liberals and moderates in the party have changed position entirely in terms of off-year enthusiasm since then, with liberals declining from 45% to 37%, and moderates climbing from 38% to 45% - that's why the overall numbers look pretty consistent.  I leave out the 2006 numbers for the reasons I described in the diary.

Does that mean the liberal side of the party is feeling demoralized?  Possibly, although again I'd like to see more than 2 data points to confirm that we aren't just resettling into our more baseline levels.  I'm actually much more surprised by moderate enthusiasm being up, and I hope that doesn't indicate splits by conservative Dems for Republican candidates.

Originally posted to De hominis dignitate on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 10:44 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  None of this, by the way, should be read (313+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, claude, Kitty, JekyllnHyde, fladem, Angie in WA State, citizen k, Terri, Yosef 52, dansac, Christin, Pandora, TrueBlueMajority, mem from somerville, emal, janinsanfran, surfbird007, Arnie, Andrew C White, mlharges, kpardue, Jim W, DCCyclone, eeff, Newsie8200, bumblebums, expatjourno, scribe, WIds, bronte17, missLotus, I am Spartacus, litho, Wee Mama, Cassandra77, nyceve, understandinglife, bluesteel, jaysunb, mindoca, otto, Larry Bailey, Boston to Salem, dchill, Major Tom, fumie, Glinda, antirove, wader, missliberties, Chicago Lulu, virginislandsguy, ranger995, casperr, brainwave, Lawrence, laderrick, ccr4nine, jaywillie, peterborocanuck, ohiolibrarian, Sychotic1, Catte Nappe, liberte, arielle, RebeccaG, ybruti, Kitsap River, KayCeSF, Vicky, tomjones, ganymeade, Sybil Liberty, vcmvo2, bloomer 101, 3goldens, alaprst, Lying eyes, Erik the Red, KnotIookin, BCO gal, claytonben, kefauver, basquebob, Dobber, Gary Norton, reflectionsv37, eru, cfk, majcmb1, pasadena beggar, Fury, Little Lulu, blue jersey mom, onanyes, deep, nyseer, Tunk, Geekesque, CWalter, Ginny in CO, Jay Elias, turnover, northanger, Pluto, peacestpete, begone, Mother Mags, Audio Guy, Whimsical, Showman, sideboth, New Deal democrat, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, plum, mr crabby, deha, Wary, fou, kck, TalkieToaster, Ashaman, nonnie9999, Libby Shaw, Bush Bites, tapestry, happy camper, plf515, Unitary Moonbat, Wildthumb, lazybum, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, emsprater, screaming target, Mindtrain, blueoregon, zedaker, revgerry, punditician, Hedwig, blueintheface, ms badger, mariachi mama, Oothoon, Nulwee, dotsright, donnamarie, jessical, Haningchadus14, Russ Jarmusch, dmh44, camlbacker, Debs2, mamabigdog, moosely2006, psychodrew, jeanette0605, Jimdotz, deepeco, joyful, kingyouth, Orange County Liberal, Seneca Doane, mcgee85, Templar, st minutia, vbdietz, yella dawg, Got a Grip, cacamp, dizzydean, oxon, chicago minx, kafkananda, ChocolateChris, ShadowSD, DraftChickenHawks, Shahryar, dotster, MikePhoenix, scooter in brooklyn, elwior, skohayes, CDH in Brooklyn, blindyone, royce, pamelabrown, happymisanthropy, geomoo, Jake Williams, Gemina13, luckylizard, a night owl, Abe Frohman, Karl Rover, Futuristic Dreamer, oldliberal, maggiejean, in2mixin, Fonsia, Rick Aucoin, RNinOR, angeleyes, Michael James, LeftOfYou, pvlb, Zotz, viet vet, velvet blasphemy, unspeakable, dskoe, MKSinSA, Leslie in KY, sanglug, allep10, kevinpdx, Integrity is fundamental, mahakali overdrive, Dragon5616, Livvy5, French Imp, ETF, Amber6541, dtruth, awcomeon, foufou, marabout40, roadbear, dorkenergy, Commoditize This, jstipich, amk for obama, AxmxZ, on board 47, CS in AZ, VickiL, trixied13, legalchic, ATFILLINOIS, sfkat, gulfgal98, ItsSimpleSimon, Benintn, Lize in San Francisco, NYWheeler, sharonsz, nickrud, damned if you do, Vik in FL, science nerd, dwayne, Its a New Day, farrelad, blackinthebuilding, bluestatedem84, indubitably, theKgirls, Onomastic, TAH from SLC, kerflooey, I love OCD, ozsea1, spiraldancer8, slowbutsure, kirbybruno, BlueJessamine, m00finsan, Teknocore, BlueHead, yakimagrama, boophus, Lorikeet, Cinnamon Rollover, dle2GA, BarackStarObama, docmidwest, tardis10, LSmith, whoknu, MadamE, Safina, ViralDem, Imhotepsings, Archie2227, agoner, blackwaterdog, SoCalSal, kareylou, RLMiller, StepLeftStepForward, moonpal, ParkRanger, MichaelNY, allergywoman, drawingporno, Dom9000, bluenurseinthepeachstate, AnnetteK, lightshine, Patric Juillet, QES, RhodaA, matrix, Aji, seethruit, delmardougster, Hopefruit2, Miep, AnnieR, Socratic Method, FiredUpInCA, tsunamiwave7, chicagobleu

    as support for the administration's policies.  That's another discussion, another place.  

    What we can be sure of, though, is that whether we lose one seat or a hundred seats in the House, we'll waste more ink debating what those losses "mean" than we ever did organizing to prevent it.  That's the tragedy of the netroots in a nutshell.

    So what I'd like us to do, even if you're "angry, demoralized, and fed up", is pledge to get really involved in this election, whether that means phone calls, donations, or direct GOTV efforts.  There's little we can do about enraged Republican voters who don't like black presidents, health care, or the government, but the more we can minimize the losses, the better chance we have of legislative successes in the next two years.  

    Are ya with me on that, at least?

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:40:04 AM PDT

      •  Frankly I get so sick of these counter diaries. (4+ / 0-)
        •  Well, I tried not to present it as a frivolous (108+ / 0-)

          counter diary, but as an analysis of the material that I felt was being missed and/or misinterpreted.  Your mileage may vary.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:49:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well written and well researched (19+ / 0-)

            but I'm still afraid for Nov.

            One punches you in the nose and the other kicks you in the groin...Axelrod commenting on the right and left

            by Kitty on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:57:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  NO, No No, NO, No, No, No!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (9+ / 0-)

              What's considerably more interesting to me, and the part that seems to be ignored here, is that Democratic enthusiasm is higher than anytime other than 2006: it's easy to notice the drop from the record-breaking highs of the last presidential election, but not the fact that we're more enthusiastic now than in off years like 1994, 1998, or 2002.

              Throw everything out the window you wrote above.  Look at the Repubs numbers for 2010 - they are off the charts at 56%.  The two closest years are 1994 and 2006, with the out party in each of these years down at least 10% from where the Repubs are now.  And look at the gains the Repubs made in 1994 (60 House seats) and the Dems made in 2006 (40 seats).  If these enthusiasm numbers hold, it is going to be a blowout of biblical proportions.

              •  Hold on a second: (29+ / 0-)

                I'm acknowledging all that, and I said in the diary that we're going to lose seats because the Republicans are much more energized than we are.  What I'm disagreeing with is the narrative that we'll lose seats because the Democratic base is fed up/disillusioned, which I don't think is supported by the numbers.  

                I don't disagree with your comment, I just don't think it's really addressing what I'm saying here.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:12:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A question from a naif (14+ / 0-)

                  Is the following a valid factor to consider:  much of the Rep base lies in the most likely to vote category--church goers and the like--while much of the Dem base lies in more fickle voters--students and the young in general?  If so, doesn't this mean that the low enthusiasm is much more likely to translate to fewer votes for Dems than it was for Reps?

                  I appreciate the level-headed diary.  Here's where my thinking differs from yours.  Whatever its actual cause, many of us believe strongly that a significant portion of this enthusiasm problem is not inevitable.  We feel that the behavior of this administration and congress has continued to favor the wealthy and powerful while not fighting fiercely for the interests of the many.  We argue for gaining popular favor and enthusiasm by enacting policies which benefit the many rather than by converting special interest money into manipulation of public opinion.  Imho, this is the source of much of the passion of those of us objecting to what we see as prettifying or excusing the Dem record over their months in power--we see it as playing into a faux politics of celebrity and propaganda rather than as embracing actual democracy.

                  Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                  by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:37:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sure, that could very well be the case. (10+ / 0-)

                    Megachurches bus people to the polling places, but our occasional versions of that are much smaller and less effective.  It's balanced a little bit by our superior party registration numbers, but then you have the independents to consider, and... yeah, it's going to be a tough November.

                    I don't at all reject the passion and anger by people who've been fighting for policy over the last two years.  I just haven't seen that the broader numbers support the idea that this kind of anger is widespread.  Individually though, sure, we have some really hardcore activists who are feeling left out and angry.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:40:57 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  But I don't see your point in proclaming that. (7+ / 0-)

                    Fine, you are disappointed in the administration (even though, IMO, the administration simply doesn't have the nubmers it needs to do what you seek--except in a futile, but symbolic, way).

                    But everyone recognizes your perspective. What I don't is why you bring it up, over and over again ("you" NOT being you personally, but those who hold your view). What do you intend to do about it? Not vote at all?

                    Of course not, right? You wouldn't be posting here if you were silly enough to sit out the vote just because you were miffed at the President or Congress. Surely, you realize that the only way for a progressive agenda to gain traction is for the Democratic party to divorce itself from the teeter-tottering wishy-washiness of the blue dogs. And the only way that divorce happens is if the Democratic numbers improve, right? NOTHING will get done is Congress is split between the two parties, Reps holding the House and Dems the Senate.

                    So why bother repeat your beef to all comers at every opportunity? The results are still the same: YOU VOTE DEMOCRAT. Now, I realize in the primary season that may be not as simple since you may have a choice among Democratic candidates, BUT I will admit to thinking it equally stupid to vote for the more progressive Democrat in primaries just to make a point (and then lose).  To me, that's as wasted a vote as sitting out the election entirely.

                    •  Much as I hate to invoke the rubber/glue rule (15+ / 0-)

                      I would suggest this question be posed doubly to those who feel compelled to respond to every diary which implies the slightest measure of criticism of the Obama administration with a response diary.

                      This diary exemplifies a different approach, offering and defending an alternate view rather simplify jumping into binary thinking.  It is a bright exception.

                      As to why anyone keeps arguing their point of view, I don't know why that should be perplexing.  That's politics.  That's how minds are changed.  That's how policies are hammered out.  I know the sidelining of the DFH's has been a wet dream since we first pointed out the inconvenient immorality and hopelessness of the Viet Nam, but it is disturbing to see so much of it on this Dem website.  Do you imagine us going off to our corners after speaking out only once while daily photo diaries appear which studiously avoid any problematic aspect to administration policy.

                      Heres one thing that really pisses me off--the many and various attempts to shift the debate to questions of character and motivation rather than acknowledging our right to be here and our value to the party.  My son-in-law, a staunch Obama defender in line with that "side" of this website--has the good sense to appreciate that some of us are raising hell in an attempt to offset the quietly corrupting influence of wealth on our government.

                      Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                      by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:47:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This is what endlessly puzzles me (16+ / 0-)

                        while daily photo diaries appear which studiously avoid any problematic aspect to administration policy

                        What's with the very angry reactions about those diaries from a policy perspective? They are more akin to Pootie diaries, or WYFP, or other community builders than they are policy wonkish. There is room for both kinds.

                        I'm not going to go into a What's For Dinner diary that may be talking about sea-food and appreciate some diatribe about Thad Allen being Jindal's puppet. And I'm not going to get excited about a call to action to hold the line on oil drilling that includes some snipes about the deluded fools over in What's For Dinner thinking they will ever be able to eat sea food again.

                        "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

                        by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:10:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I saw where you said that before. (13+ / 0-)

                          I found it a useful in helping me accept their presence here.

                          My big gripe is that they often demonstrate aspects of propaganda, the most unsettling being in associating sincere and valid criticism with the worst of bigotry or partisanship.  Their effect, imho, is to encourage people to circle the wagons in defense of a person, Obama, instead of debating issues openly and with respect.  There is certainly more going on than simply uplifting photos, which I happen to enjoy.  I see those diaries as pretty sophisticated propaganda, but I try to live and let live.

                          The only reason I brought that up right now is in defense of the absurd question of why don't I just go away.

                          Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                          by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:52:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's the thing, though (6+ / 0-)

                            I don't think those who don't want to "circle the wagons" are going to be persuaded to do so--in any fashion.  Frankly most of us aren't persuadable on this site.  We like what we like.

                          •  I hear you, but I have a lot of respect (11+ / 0-)

                            for propaganda.  Study after study demonstrates that we humans are not the rational, free thinkers we like to believe we are.  Science has convincingly shown the extent to which our experience of being rational, and of being right, is largely an illusion embedded in our biology.  In addition, it has been plainly shown that we humans are unconsciously affected in a powerful way by the simplest of stimuli.  Still, I have to agree that endless back and forth is unlikely to have a lot of persuasive effect on staunch partisans.  I do think about the lurkers here, though.

                            As to this thread, I feel my initial comment was a substantive reply to this diary, was an honest attempt to contribute to discussion.  I don't think it merited me being asked why I keep hanging around.  I made one point I had never made before anywhere, and the other point has as much place here as this diary does.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:12:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Should have said "respect for the effectiveness" (5+ / 0-)

                            of propaganda.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:25:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think you have it backwards (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            science nerd, Onomastic

                            The administration neglected the press in the beginning and didn't put out enough propaganda.

                            I want more propaganda on why we need more stimulus.

                          •  "I want more propaganda" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bigchin, svboston

                            Our viewpoints are so fundamentally different that I don't see much to be gained by further interaction.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 08:34:29 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's a quite pertinent study for you (12+ / 0-)

                            In adolescent peer groups, it was shown that when someone made a remark critical of another person in the group, the crucial determinant of where the discussion went was in the next response.  If a second person chimed in in support of the initial remark, the discussion most likely continued in a critical vein.  If the next comment was neutral or in disagreement with the initial comment, the discussion went elsewhere.  Don't kid yourself that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of studies such as this one are not made use of by sophisticated propagandists to mold public opinion.  The frequently seen tactic of one troll chiming in in support of a first may be a conscious result of this study or some other like it.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:23:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That assumes some things (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Terri, nyceve, chicago minx, seethruit

                            It assumes that we only read one kind of diary. That we all stay in our own little silos, and interact solely with our own peer-group cliques. The value of a blog like this with a lot of wide ranging commentary is that most of us don't. But the sniping and divisiveness may be beginning to foster that cliquishness.

                            It would be far more healthy in reducing the impact of propaganda (which could come from either "side" by the way) if we could all read nyceve's diary and say "Now there's a plan to get behind. I'm on the phone to my critter about that, and here's a draft of the LTE I'm gonna submit" and then we all could go over to BWD's and say "those turkey's aren't going to get us down. Look at our fine hard working President and his family. Isn't he good with kids?"

                            "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

                            by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:01:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're the one making the assumptions (9+ / 0-)

                            I stated some facts, some opinions, and some reactions.  I didn't assume anything about anyone.

                            It seems you will find it odd that I'm completely in agreement with your second paragraph; furthermore, I think my behavior supports making this happen.

                            What I'm experiencing right now is what I almost always experience when I venture into the mythical "enemy camp" and make a comment, no matter how respectful or limited:  a incessant movement starts up to find a way to undermine the value of my contribution, primarily by attacking my character, intelligence, and motives, but more subtly by taking such a stance as you have here, a stance I find ironic since I agree with you and I think my initial response to this diary supports that claim.

                            I found this diary to be convincing.  In response to it I raised what I consider to be a neutral question in true curiosity as to the diarist's opinion, then I attempted to define the limited way in which my thinking differed from that of the diarist.  You see where that has led, with the latest being you arguing with me over a subject over which, as far as I can tell, we are in agreement.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:14:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Enemy camps" (6+ / 0-)

                            Boy, it sure does feel that way. And whatever "camp" one may be inclined to be a member of, I promise that ventures into threads populated by the "other camp" result in feeling one's character, intelligence and motives to be under attack.

                            Sorry if I seem to have been argumentative about your comments. Some buttons probably got pushed, with perhaps a value judgement implied by "propaganda" that you did not intend.

                            "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

                            by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:30:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No problem. (4+ / 0-)

                            It is very difficult in this environment.  Obviously, it happens both ways.  I hope I have also been fair and respectful.  I appreciated this exchange.  Thank you.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 08:31:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Huh (12+ / 0-)

                            From what I've gathered BWD isn't quite at a skill level to be organizing sophisticated propaganda - or even unsophisitcated propaganda.

                            I'll tell you what I get out of them.
                            There's some encouragement to keep going after I've absorbed the days news about the oil spill and the economy. After reading my local paper, which since I'm in a still pretty red state, includes its share of jaw dropping OpEds and blood pressure raising LTEs.

                            Those diaries hint at a light the end of the tunnel after reading about people who have lost their unemployment and now their house, or who are facing scary medical conditions with uncertain financial support, or are reacting to the jaw dropping and blood pressure raising stories in their home areas.

                            They aren't pictures of some messiah, but they are of a man with a good mind and a good heart. It reminds me that we "won one", though it wasn't easy; and we can win some more if we stay after it. (And that I'm looking at him and Michele rather than McCain and Palin - and what a relief that still is. Also. Too)

                            "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

                            by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:54:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please excuse a small quibble (7+ / 0-)

                            because otherwise, I do not begrudge you any of that in the slightest.  My quibble is with the assumptions about who Obama is.  We just can't know that.  That doesn't mean I'm in support of assuming the worst either, it just makes me nervous that people want to rely on his good graces, as they would a king's, rather than focus on behavior and policy.

                            Other than that, please understand that while reading your comment, I felt happy for you for having that.  We'll simply have to disagree on whether BWD diaries can be seen as skillful propaganda.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:19:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why do you assume (4+ / 0-)

                            That we who support President Obama are merely relying upon his 'good graces' like a King? You're responses had me until this slam. It's sad you took this turn to denigrate those of us who like him -- so very sad of you to do that.

                            Honetly even unemployed, as well as others can a do read and follow the news we KNOW about his 'policies' and get this, many of us support them--I do.

                            This is only one place i post and in other places I'm with people who are not harsh nor degrading to the President nor to the Democratic Party.

                            Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

                            by Wary on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:32:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Reading comprehension (0+ / 0-)

                            This is not a slam

                            it just makes me nervous that people want to rely on his good graces

                            Neither is it an assumption.  It is an expression of a concern of something that I worry might possibly happen.

                            Of course there will continue to be attempts to portray me as unreasonable until I finally go away.  Sigh.

                            Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                            by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 08:28:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't disagree with you, but... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Terri, Wary

                        I think if you are going to vote Democratic anyway ("ic"--the other was a typo: I do hate the way Reps have done that!), wouldn't it be "healthier" to argue your point and also confirm that, nevertheless, you will vote and vote Democratic? After all, if you are convincing others, isn't it somewhat more responsible to also include what may not be apparent in your words: that even if you are disappointed, it is vital to vote and vote Democratic? Isn't that as important a message as your criticism itself because, otherwise, how will that which you criticize ever be corrected? By not voting, so Republicans can take over?

                        We suffer from a negativity problem. Why not be critical, but also constructive?

                    •  It is important to keep... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zedaker, elwior, roadbear

                      in perspective the reason we have a government and the reason we have elections:  It is to sustain health and prosperity and to solve problems.

                      It is becoming increasingly clear, IMHO, that the democrats cannot solve problems, they are too entangled with the uber-wealthy and their corporations to come up with the actual solutions.

                      So, as Democrats we can work for the election of Democratic candidates, but as responsible citizens we are also responsible for working to influence our government to create real solutions to real problems, like health care, climate change, poverty, homelessness, a tilted, and unjust, economy, regaining integrity in federal regulatory agencies, basing the dollar on productivity and innovation, instead of a collapsing empire, etc, etc.

                      The perception that those solutions can be achieved by simply supporting the Democratic Party is utterly unrealistic.

                      Activism in the 21st Century will require a more complicated and nuanced approach.  Perhaps balancing support of the party with direct action against corporate abuse.

                      Corporate PACs, not just bribery but a lifestyle!

                      by rubine on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:55:46 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  True, true... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rubine

                        The perception that those solutions can be achieved by simply supporting the Democratic Party is utterly unrealistic.

                        I have a Democratic friend in Florida who would support your statement by explaning why she's voting for Charlie Crist. She thinks having activist, centrist Republicans who are open-minded and flexible is the best way to balance legislation. I don't disagree with her, but I'm just not sure that's what Crist is.

                    •  "YOU VOTE DEMOCRAT"? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Wary

                      what's with the rightwing teabagger spelling?

                      "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

                      by zedaker on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 05:01:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  you say obama favors the wealthy but yet (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Wary, Socratic Method, FiredUpInCA

                    wall street thinks he is very anti business.  Whcih is why all ceos are holding onto the 1.27 trillion in cahs reserves they have.  They are making money but do not like obamas poicies.  Your argument is one of hatred towards this president and a very weak one.  OOOPS!

                    •  Sorry, when forming my views (9+ / 0-)

                      I give very little weight to the opinions of people whose motivations are fundamentally at odds with mine.  Your point simply underlines how foolish Obama is to try to make nice with the banksters, expressing disappointment when they--surprise, surprise--fail to use their bail-out funds to bring capital to main street.  This point of view undermines true progressivism by pitting the incorrigible right with the socially conscious left--it's a false dichotomy.  To put it simply, I'm waiting for Obama to say, "I welcome their hatred."

                      Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                      by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:52:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  me too, geomoo, let Obama say those words! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        svboston
                      •  Those words have already been said (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TexDem, virginislandsguy, GN1927, skohayes, ETF

                        By FDR, sorry you missed them.

                        Obama is not FDR---Obama is Obama

                        Here's what gets me about "progressives' they're always looking back in the past wanting someone who used to live while the real deal is the here and now.

                        As long as "Progressives' attempt to measure President Obama in all of those old best of the best Liberal times, then President Obama will ALWAYS fail to you because he doesn't measure up to what happened one time.

                        It's very sad from my perspective.

                        It's like the Republicans always wanting every politician to be another 'Reagan' hell they've gone as far as rewrittting history to shove their modern day politicians into.

                        Perhaps that pining for President Obama to say the words or act like FDR did is similar.  FDR lived during the Great Depression, President Obama is alive during the Great Recession, there's quite a difference between those two eras.

                        During FDR's time things were much, much worse the Dust Bowl , no social safety net, Hoovrvilles of people who lost thier homes, so many differences, the 'Grapes of Wrath".

                        Personally comments like this I think, waiting for President Obama to be like FDR weakens the position being stated.

                        Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

                        by Wary on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:54:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Reasons to ignore my opinion (9+ / 0-)

                      Your argument is one of hatred towards this president and a very weak one.

                      That's complete bullshit.  I'm not bigoted, I'm not naive, I'm not foolishly and immaturely impatient, I'm not hateful, I"m not unrealistic, I'm not naive about politics, etc. etc. etc.

                      I have a different point of view than yours.

                      Bacevich

                      The president is what we have instead of real debate, instead of real democracy.

                      The only meat in this discussion concerns policies and tactics, not questions of loving or hating Obama.

                      Are you journalists, or are you rushing a sorority? - Jon Stewart

                      by geomoo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:58:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  But that is my point..... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nyceve, Wary, svboston

                  we are not just going to lose seats, based on where enthusiasm is, we are going to the slaughtering house.  And if you break out these numbers by region, I suspect that our numbers are higher nationally due to the NE and west.  Any Dem who won seats in 2006 in the south, border states, mid-west or mountain west or who are running in open seats in these same areas is going to be crushed.  And the poster child for what is coming is the Illinois Senate race.  With all of Kirk's problems so far, he is still way up in the polls.  And House races in Ohio, Indiana are really looking ugly for Dems.

                  It is so embarasing that the Dems will have to keep Obama out of his home state in an attempt to save his old Senate seat.  That is how bad things are.  

                   

                  •  If you're interested in more local breakdowns, (7+ / 0-)

                    litho posted the link to CQ's district-by-district analysis, and the results are significantly better than 'slaughterhouse'.  Not at 'ideal' or 'positive', either, but if they're right, we won't be losing the House (*knock on wood)

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:48:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Incorrect. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    virginislandsguy, Ginny in CO, ETF

                    The jump in republican enthusiasm does not translate linearly into votes. At most they're picking up a few million more votes total.

                    Also, those extra votes will not to be evenly distributed across. The majority of them will be in heavily red districts because that's where there are the most republicans to get enthused.

                    What could BPossibly go wrong?? -RLMiller

                    by nosleep4u on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:57:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Law of Diminishing Returns (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      pico

                      Agree with

                      The jump in republican enthusiasm does not translate linearly into votes

                      Looking at the poll numbers, I wonder if we are in uncharted territory here. The figures from 1994 and 2006, both seachange elections, are mirrors of each other.  The "drop-off" of Democratic enthusiasm in 2010 may be within the poll MOE (I could not find the MOE in the links).

                      But, could it be that the 56% enthusiasm polling for Republicans results in NO additional votes in November. I mean, they could go skipping to the polls, throwing confetti in the air, but their vote counts no more than an "unenthusiastic" Democrat trudging dutifully to the polling booth to pull the D lever.

                      In summary, it is the delta below 45% that determines partisan voter turnout and anything above is meaningless.

                      One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble ... Murray Head

                      by virginislandsguy on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 03:36:35 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  virginislandsguy, GN1927, skohayes, ETF

                  we won't lose seats because the Republicans are more fired up. If that were true, we'd already have seen a string of losses in special elections. We'll lose some seats because Democrats won victories in some difficult districts that they will give back.

                  Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

                  by anastasia p on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:47:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and why will Dems give back these seats, anastasi (0+ / 0-)

                    perchance because Dems have failed to deliver?

                    •  No because they're held by (7+ / 0-)

                      BLUE DOGS in districts that President Obama LOST in the 2008 election.

                      You know the Blue Dogs that are formeost in the sights of 'progressives" who they want to take out.

                      Matter of fact I've one in Ky with Ben Chandler, you know a "Blue dog' that didn't vote for the Health Care bill BECAUSE he's in a district previously held by GOP Ernie Fletcher he picked up in a special election heavily supported by the D Kos community.

                      he's facing a tough re-election, we WANT him to win here in Ky, because a 'blue dog' is better ANY day than a GOP'er and a 'progressive' would NEVER EVER win in that district!

                      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

                      by Wary on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:04:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks, Wary (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TexDem, pico

                        This something we need to keep pressing- Democrats who live in red states like you and me (I live in Kansas) will vote for Blue Dogs, because progressives are as rare (if they exist at all) as hen's teeth.
                        Even the Daily Kos has supported Blue Dog candidates, because the 50 state strategy understands that red states are going to put up more conservative Democrats.

                        How come the dove get to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

                        by skohayes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 03:42:18 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yeah, a point I've tried to make in (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TexDem, skohayes

                          previous discussions about Blue Dogs.  Senators like Landrieu take a lot of (often well-deserved) grief on this site, but her colleague is Vitter, which should give some idea of the range of Louisiana ideologies. I think we could do better than Landrieu, but we haven't even begun to build the kind of infrastructure needed to support that kind of candidate - nor would 'better' = Bernie Sanders.  We do the best with the population we're given.  

                          Where we need to focus more energy is in districts where the representation is to the right of what it should be.

                          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                          by pico on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 04:01:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I get very aggravated (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            pico

                            with the "Throw the Blue Dogs Out" meme.
                            Everyone (I assume) supports a 50 state strategy on this site, but some don't seem to understand what that means.
                            Great diary, pico!

                            How come the dove get to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

                            by skohayes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 04:13:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Democrats are paid losers... (0+ / 0-)

                  And their masters pay them well. WE Don't have any say in this.

              •  Especially since Republicans can vote as many... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassandra77, CTPatriot, geomoo

                ...times as they want to!

                Dump Obama: An ethical sewer who ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

                by expatjourno on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:22:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Aren't there more Dems than Repubs? (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                majcmb1, pico, Wary, yella dawg, ETF, MRA NY

                And, if so, can't we give up a little on enthusiasm and still survive?

                "Philosophy is useless; theology is worse"--Dire Straits

                by Bush Bites on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:37:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Little bit here, little bit there. (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Terri, Wary, Bush Bites, elwior, ETF

                  It's helped us sometimes in the past: a 4-point enthusiasm gap in 1998 led turned into an almost equal popular vote.  14 points is a lot more disconcerting, though!

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:42:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Beyond the overall numbers of Dems & Reps (13+ / 0-)

                    being taken into consideration, I have to wonder how much of this high enthusiam grade for the Reps comes from teapartiers.

                    There were a few tea party candidates that won primaries and, I believe, many of those races have generated three way races, which will leave the Rep vote divided.  Additionally, where there is only a tea party candidate or just some run of the mill right wing crazy candidate, many Reps will stay home or defect.

                    Regardless of how enthusiastic they are, they still only get one vote and must have an electable candidate to give it to to really matter.

                    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

                    by MRA NY on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:56:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My concern is over how much is sheer ignorance. (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Wary, MRA NY, FiredUpInCA

                      Let's get real here: To vote FOR Republicans in large numbers is to confirm a low-information status in a huge chunk of the electorate. And if that's the case--which, yes, I fear it is--then we are indeed doomed.

                      Does anyone else wish pollsters would explore the knowledge level of respondants and correlate those levels with their political views? I always wonder why that isn't done. I mean, really, wouldn't it be valuable for the media and the electorate alike to be reminded of the difference between fact and feeling?

                  •  Party ID (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ETF, foufou, AgentOfProgress

                    Isn't GOP party ID still much lower now than it was then?  Where do independents figure on the "enthusiasm-o-meter"?  Are they likely to vote, and if so, what's the breakdown and what's the enthusiasm difference between strongly conservative independents, centrist independents and liberal independents?

                    I think we need to remember that party ID has changed a lot over the last 10 years (or so I gather).

                    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi

                    by Triscula on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:42:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Leaning to the GOP now are the Indies (0+ / 0-)

                      Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

                      by Wary on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:08:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  IMHO (0+ / 0-)

                        a lot of the so-called Indies are conservatives/GOPpers who don't wish to be identified with the extremes of the GOP, but will still pretty much vote GOP well before they'll consider voting Democratic.
                         
                        Also, I think some of the Indies are just less engaged and it's more cool to say you're an Independent than it is to be identified with a particular party. You combine that with Fox News playing in many public spaces and there's room for a lot of ignorant voters.
                         
                        This leaves both parties with their core base, which then points you back to pico's point in the diary.

              •  Are you hoping for republicans to gain control? (6+ / 0-)

                sure sounds like it!  JEESH!  I know some of you are pissed at the potus, but not one of you can explain to me how you would get 60 votes(in the senate) for anything you wanted!  NOT ONE!!!  So, your criticism of the potus is also bunk.

              •  I need to see their "identified as Republican" (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pico, Wary, FiredUpInCA

                numbers verses the number of voter who identify themselves as Democrats, after the voter registration we did in 2008 before getting frightened.

                I still think it is up to us to GOTV like we did in 2008 for the progressive candidates like Jack Conway that we got tee'd up in the primaries.

              •  You're Right. (6+ / 0-)

                If one looks at the year 1994 (the terrible 60 seat loss year), the difference in voter enthusianism favored the Republicans by a very wide margin of 15 (45 to 30); and if one then looks at voter enthusiasm now (for 2010), it once again favors the Republicans by a very wide margin (56 to 42), which is 14 points. Of course, this is not a good harbinger of things to come. Also, I hadn't realized that so many so-called "Liberal Democrats" had really pealed off from the party and are not now giving their avid support to all Democratic Party candidates.  

                However, I don't think there will a repeat of 1994 (at least I'm hoping so.). I say so because of the of the Tea Party; across the country, they have been giving general election voters candidates like Angle of Nevada. (Right now, I believe that Harry Reid is going to eke out a win in that particular race. I just hope he will not lead the Democrats in the Senate, if he does.).  

                I also truly believe that the American electorate is finally realizing that the Tea Party is simply the same group of hard right Republicans from yesteryear (that loud and crazy twenty percent of traditional Republicans).  

              •  It is NOT going to be (5+ / 0-)

                "a blowout of Biblical proportions" unless Americans have totally lost their minds and unless we keep telling ourselves that and are too paralyzed with despair to do anything.

                Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

                by anastasia p on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:46:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Excellent diary. (13+ / 0-)

            I'm with you.  I'm involved.  This is a district by district and State by State election.  Blogging won't win any of these seats.  It's time to talk the talk and literally walk the walk and GOTV.  

            btw, I thought the "because" numbers make it obvious the Gopers enthuiasm is hate-based and I suspect racist.

            "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."

            by Lying eyes on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:27:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's the problem (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Terri, Newsie8200, Lying eyes, blindyone, ETF

              I agree with all you have said however that takes a 'machine' to implenment, we have the 'machine' but so many are refusing to use it--the OFA, DNC, we hear it all the time here don't work with them, don't contribute to them, and on.

              So, those of us who REALLY want to win have to double our efforts in working WITH these machines.

              Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

              by Wary on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:12:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  IGood point. But bear in mind, DKos (4+ / 0-)

                is not the Democratic Party base.  But there are many good Democrats here who will support and work with the DNC and OFA.  There are others who will work for and contribute to individual candidates.  And then there are the malcontents who have no intention of doing anything but typing out their misery and hoping it infects others.  So, as you say, we'll just have to double up and ignore them.  

                "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."

                by Lying eyes on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 08:46:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps if you actually read it, (21+ / 0-)

          you may find it's not a "counter diary," but more of a call-to-action diary!

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:43:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Me too (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wary, dmh44, NWTerriD, ETF, foufou

          I only like one point-of-view on a subject. Other opinions are too meta and free speechy and dimensional.

        •  Well done counter diaries like this are the (9+ / 0-)

          essence of democratic debate, and I like and appreciate dkos for exactly this sort of diary.

          Frankly, I get sick of the meta, "feelings" counter diaries that have more emoting than numbers denoting.

          I say, well done, and thank you for this diary!

        •  So? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dmh44, FiredUpInCA

          Make. Them. Filibuster.

          by NWTerriD on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:19:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a well written diary (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wary, dmh44, ETF, FiredUpInCA

          With no ad hominem attacks.

        •  Frankly, I get sick of the navel-gazing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terri, pico, Wary

          and charts and graphs and numbers which are all mere prediction and speculation getting so much attention and the diaries about excellent candidates across the country we could be supporting getting so little. I think finding at least one candidate you believe in is the secret to overcoming demoralization. It worked for me. I had a fleeting second after the primary here when I said, "Screw it, I'm not even going to vote." But then my fellow primary campaigners and I all started to gravitate toward campaigns for an excellent state supreme court and secretary of state candidate. And I'm fired up about Justin Coussoule who is running for congress in Ohio's 8th district — the seat held by John Boehner. Justin is the strongest opponent Boehner has had in 20 years

          Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

          by anastasia p on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:45:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks good to hear! (0+ / 0-)

            We do NEED more diaries like that! We used to have them dominating the boards the way it should be.

            Now, unforturnately we have all of these 'meta' and rants with people globbing onto them, getting all worked up and 'angry Demoralized, ready to strike out"

            Hey write a diary about your experiences and the candidate! At least you will have attempted to utilize this site for that purpose to ELECT Democrats!

            (Now watch somone will come along all meta about 'better Democrats--we need to get rid of those 'blue dogs' --shrink our TENT--we all know how that goes.)

            Please vote Democratic in November. If the GOP wins we will all be forced backward another decade, who wants that?

            by Wary on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:18:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You know what, I agree. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Terri

            Despite having written this diary I wish that local candidate diaries took up much more attention and space on the rec list.  I try to rec 'em when I see 'em, because they're ultimately the most important, direct work we can be doing to help influence elections.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 12:30:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  stop clicking on them (0+ / 0-)

          that way you won't be getin sick.

      •  I think the title is the key (22+ / 0-)

        it explains, well, everything -once you combine your graphs (and concepts) with the other Rec'd diaries mentioned (which I've also read today).

        Because, when it comes down to it, it's always the "lies, damned lies" that kill voter enthusiasm.

        There is palpable ire out there, even in the generally un-concerned non-voting populous. This, from a subjective viewpoint, because I talk politics everywhere, and grocery store shoppers (which is everyone but the uber-rich) are all willing to talk about politics the past six months or so.

        What do they all have in common, obvious conservative or liberal alike? Someone unemployed, in foreclosure or bankruptcy, in their family or circle of friends. All of them. About half blame the Democrats and half the Republicans for it. But they all blame those in Congress now the most.

        The most engaged are those self-identified former Republican voters, happy to tell me that the Wars and the mis-management of government in general has turned them off the Republican Party for good - but they're not happy with the alternative, either.

        It's all the lies, the subtle, disingenuous ones to the obvious, blatant ones. The lies spun by PR flacks and created by radio bobble-heads, which wend their way from conservative pol to conservative pol at FTL speed.

        Death Panels
        Kill Granny
        Non-citizen president
        Death Tax

        Even among the Republican base there are some reasonable people, who are sick of this political kabuki, and long for real leadership.

        Wouldn't it be nice if the Democratic Party in Congress showed them some, before the mid-term election this November?

      •  I just wanted to say (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, pico, Wary, ETF

        That I really appreciate the way you made your case without making it personal or taking any shots at the "opther side." Thank you.

        Tipped and recced.

    •  I love you pico!! (41+ / 0-)

      This is the most salient quote:

      What we can be sure of, though, is that whether we lose one seat or a hundred seats in the House, we'll waste more ink debating what those losses "mean" than we ever did organizing to prevent it.  That's the tragedy of the netroots in a nutshell.

      Dems seem particularly good a criticism, and self reflection.

       Fascinating that the Republican effort is less about conservative policy and a whole lot more about hating liberals.

      Just a super great dairy!!! With facts!

    •  Oh no! Not facts!!! n/t (13+ / 0-)

      The few, the proud, the Pro-Israel Kossaks.

      by psychodrew on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:35:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well researched and documented diary (12+ / 0-)

      It is hard for me to understand why the Dems are suddenly facing an electoral armageddon here. What should go hand in hand with such a prediction is real figures relating to key races.   While there may be some losses, a better predictor is an individual analysis of each of the close races.

      Overall enthusiasm does not necessarily translate into votes if the votes are not there to begin with.  The last I looked, the Republicans are very splintered and trail both Democrats and Independents in registrations and self identification.

      IMHO, I do think is that an enthusiasm gap is more like gas gauge in a car that is down to a half or quarter tank.  While it may not need immediate attention, it may be a harbinger of a long term problem if it is not eventually taken care of.

    •  Great, great diary Pico! (10+ / 0-)

      I admit to being among those who are disappointed (to say the least), at the lack of decisive, bold action taken by Democrats in control of both House of Congress and the White House.
       
       But I'm not demoralized.

        The System does not seem to work the way we'd like it to work, but there's a real route to change ahead, albeit at a pace which snails would laugh at.

       We've got a solid beachhead established (in this mainstream way of operating), and now we need to hold our ground.
        If we lose a minimal number of seats, where the balance of power doesn't change, it's actually a victory, the way current expectations are.
        If we battle them anywhere near even, and that is possible, it's a HUGE victory, and the agenda moves forward more easily.

         The real battle would be in the Senate then - to change the filibuster rules, such that in the next session of Congress, the People's work can get done!
       
         With a comprehensive Immigration Bill, a solid Energy/Climate Bill, a Tax Bill which eliminates the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (while preserving those for middle income earners), a Bill expanding the rights of Workers to organize, some fixes to the HCR Legislation, and more stimulus spending passed, as needed, 2012 could end up being the year where the GOP becomes completely irrelevant.

        Slower-paced change is not my idea, or my preferred route, but it's the only one open to us, and we need to take it, if we are smart.

        And most of us, as it turns out, are smart!

       Thanks again for this wonderful diary!

       

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:41:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd be with you IF... (6+ / 0-)

      Someone would tell me exactly what efforts are being made to get out the minority vote. I sat in on a few OFA meetings, but I heard nothing whatsoever about that. All I heard was  the push to make sure the '08 First-Time Voters would vote again (and, of course, to continue registering more voters).

      I want to hear a PLAN to reach out and energize the minority vote. I want to see the media strategy in action. I want to hear about recruiting for door-to-door canvassing in minority communities (something I would volunteer to do).

      I will admit that I am far more demoralized by not understanding OFA's approaches than I am by the stymied state of legislation.

      •  I admit I don't have much experience with OFA, (4+ / 0-)

        and they've come under heavy criticism from LGBT groups recently for trumpeting the DADT only after the fact (as in, using it to support them rather than coming out to support it.)  But I know a bunch of people who are really passionate about OFA, especially on this site, and I hope they get your message.  You're absolutely right.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  OFA is full of balony (0+ / 0-)

        They're new and they don't have a lot of experience in that field.  SEIU and lot of other organizations are much better at getting out the minority vote than OFA.

        "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

        by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:59:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Predictors of doom need to take responsibility (11+ / 0-)

      for the effects of their constant negativity and panic on other voters. When you always take every MSM story of a dip in the polls or a "feeling" about voters as confirmation that the end is near, and you loudly broadcast that, you are not just talking, you are actively amplifying MSM disinformation.

      And please don't even start with that "cheerleader" bullshit. Being a "dementor" is not being a brave truth teller. Many of us can recognize the odds and see problems without needing to be told to despair. Although some people apparently have bad memories, I remember the MSM spending 8 years telling us how popular Bush the wartime president was, no matter what the polls said. I know what they are doing.

    •  No, I am Not.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angry White Democrat, nyceve, zedaker

      So what I'd like us to do, even if you're "angry, demoralized, and fed up", is pledge to get really involved in this election, whether that means phone calls, donations, or direct GOTV efforts.  There's little we can do about enraged Republican voters who don't like black presidents, health care, or the government, but the more we can minimize the losses, the better chance we have of legislative successes in the next two years.  

      Are ya with me on that, at least?

      Diarists such as yourself just don't get it.  We are in this pickle because Obama and Congress, in which the Dems control HUGE majorities, squandered all opportunities to adopt progressive legislation.  With the losses that are coming, there will be very few legislative victories leading up to the presidential campaign in 2012.  

      I worked my ass of volunteering, giving big chunks of cash, etc., and got nothing but a health care bill that will do nothing but drive up insurers profits by billions of dollars.  

      Obama came into office with a HUGE mandate for change - and in simple terms, he blew it.  And as a result, here comes the train wreck this fall.

    •  Terrific work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terri, pico, QES

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:01:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with ya (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terri, pico
    •  Good diary, pico -- you raise an important caveat (12+ / 0-)

      Beyond that: one thing I've wondered is the changing size of the proportion of Republicans in the electorate, which I understand to have been declining over time.  (This point may have been made elsewhere, but I'm not reading those other diaries' comment sections, let alone all the way through this one.)  If so, then the comparison across years isn't apt and the implications aren't so clear.

      If the Republican Party got even smaller than it has, so that everyone who wasn't a complete fanatic changed their registration, then the fanatics who remained would probably have even higher enthusiasm than shown in these polls.  This would be because the enthusiasm of the few was no longer being "diluted" by the relative lack of enthusiasm of the many.  (Similarly, if the Democratic Party shrank to the point where it was solely composed of bloggers, the average enthusiasm of party members might well increase -- as well as the average political knowledge and savoir faire, of course.)

      You can make brine by boiling salt water so that fresh water evaporates.  By boiling away party members who were least committed to the crazy, the Republican Party has ended up smaller but brinier.  I'm not saying that's the whole effect here, but I think that it's part of it, and comparing the prevalence of Republican registration among the voting populace would be a good way to estimate the size of the competing effects.

      "So if you don't have any teeth, so what? ... Isn't that why they make applesauce?" -- GOP leader Rush Limbaugh

      by Seneca Doane on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:06:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, that is a needed crucial factor. (4+ / 0-)

        Another specific question is "Where are the folks who now call themselves 'independent' but shortly before were "Republicans'?"

        Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

        by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:13:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely, although we'd still have to deal (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terri, Catte Nappe, Seneca Doane

        with the WaPo/NBC numbers, which didn't poll by party identification but by which party people want to win Congress, and the numbers are much closer there than I like.  Still, as far as enthusiasm-by-party goes, I think you're absolutely right: we may be looking a briny party, so to speak.  As I mentioned... er, somewhere... this may actually work for them in the short run, but I can't imagine they aren't doing serious damage to their party in the long run.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The "demoralization" meme is pure projection (6+ / 0-)

      There is literally no evidence for demoralization, none, zip, zero.  

      There is an intensity gap, but that's not the same thing as demoralization.  In fact, registered Dems overwhelmingly give high approval ratings to Obama.

      nyceve and others take their own feelings and read them into poll numbers, but that's not the same thing as evidence.  There isn't any, as you point out so well.

      I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

      by dansac on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:58:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kudos for looking at the numbers (5+ / 0-)

      I keep saying it but it's worth repeating.

      It's impossible for progressives to make progress by misreading the base and the broader public at large.

      It's bad for progressives to make tactical, strategic and/or messaging choices based on the shitty political analysis and judgement of those who are so out of touch as to think that DailyKos or any other blog is necessarily representative of the base.

      And it's also borderline insensitive for the netroots which is whiter, wealthier, more male, and better educated than the average Dem base voter to act as though the Democratic world revolves around them.

      •  Great comment, so true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy

        It's bad for progressives to make tactical, strategic and/or messaging choices based on the shitty political analysis and judgement of those who are so out of touch as to think that DailyKos or any other blog is necessarily representative of the base.

        And it's also borderline insensitive for the netroots which is whiter, wealthier, more male, and better educated than the average Dem base voter to act as though the Democratic world revolves around them.

        And bloggers are more cowardly.  The truth is bloggers are too lazy to do the real work in a campaign, and that's why they're trying to make excuses not to do it.  They're scared, they got their hands dirty working for Obama, and they didn't like it.  They don't want to admit they're too cowardly to do it again, so they're blaming Obama that they didn't get a pony. LAME.

        "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

        by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 10:41:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Repub Policies Have ALWAYS Had Majority Oppositn (14+ / 0-)

    They did under Reagan as I recall reports, provided polling questions did not link the policies to Reagan himself.

    That question has no practical value to us with a Democratic party that does not fight the message war on a par with Republicans. It's been true all along yet we've had the middle class declining nearly 40 years driven by Republican policies and judges and Court.

    The Republicans are making a very intelligent bet during 2009-10 by putting all their money on madness. That 56% number in the 2010 column proves it.

    They're going to get high turnout in base and enraged moderates. Dems will get lower turnout in our base and disspirited moderates.

    That's all they need to accomplish for now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 10:51:10 AM PDT

  •  "peak enthusiasm" (24+ / 0-)

    Heh.  I read a book called Peak Everything, and I don't think that was in there.

    I do think Peak Despair is limited to a small group of vocal and highly aware bloggy activists. The death of enthusiasm has been an exaggeration.

    "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

    by mem from somerville on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 10:53:46 AM PDT

  •  clear-headed, thanks! (20+ / 0-)

    so it's more about the crazed Republicans and those who goad them on, and the media that reports it.

    You've given us data for the mid-terms. Do you have a data point for Democratic enthusiasm in 2008?

  •  Recced and tipped (33+ / 0-)

    And I don't read this is a volley in the ongoing warfare here. Thank you for a helpful diary. My biggest gripe is the amount of sheer energy wasted here. I do not agree that if we "only worked at it" we could have common ground. The most ardent supporters of their positions ain't changing. The rest, ignore the inanity here. And even if a few minds are changed, it's a drop in the ocean. Reality is out there, and reality awaits>>>>>>>>

    Thanks for the info. I am motivated by positive efforts, not negative. Success breeds success. Insert more cliches here.....I have a week to kill between my paying job and my volunteer work. Thanks to TIMT's and this diary, I am more energized to focus on political action, as well as my more familiar social service.

    I detest the blanket anti-administration attitudes from some on "our" side, but I believe the biggest culprit in damaging efforts is the media.
    Have a good summer.

  •  Congressional Quarterly (25+ / 0-)

    is not projecting this to be a terrible year for Democrats.  They currently have the Dems picking up two Rep House seats, the Repubs picking up three Dem ones -- for a net 1 for the Dems - and an additional 28 Dem seats two close to call.  If we lose all the toss-ups we'd still have a 229-206 majority in the House.

    Assuming of course the CQ projections hold up...

  •  Voting against their own self interest (19+ / 0-)

    That's what I don't understand about GOP voters.  Unless you are extraordinarily wealthy, the GOP's policies do nothing for you.  Yet over and over we see evidence of people duped into believing that the GOP is where their vote belongs.  

    It's also hard to understand how so many here talk about how they won't vote Democratic because they see Obama as a failure for not having achieved "enough" or "anything".  Again, the only other viable option for voting in this country is the GOP.  Is that really who they want to see in power- the GOP?  It's against their own self interest.  

    I wonder how much would change if the Senate did away with the cloture rule/filibuster and went to straight 50+1 votes.  How much more would get done, so much faster.   Enough to regain our enthusiasm?  

    •  Well, what is one's "best interest"? (14+ / 0-)

      I think that's the sticking point right there, where some voters weigh out the potential impact of policies in different ways: it's not hard to find people who are on the verge of economic collapse, but think that same-sex marriage is the worst thing that could happen.  That's a tough nut to crack, in terms of finessing a 'message' that will reach those voters.  Fear is, unfortunately, an easy emotion to provoke.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:38:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed- it takes some digging (6+ / 0-)

        And those folks are not usually willing to look that closely at the roots of their own opinions and beliefs.  It's easier for them to allow the GOP talking points, their church's talking points, and Fox do their thinking for them.  

        You are absolutely right about fear- it truly drives the electoral decisions of a lot of voters.  Just substitute the same sex marriage issue for immigration reform, EFCA, or public option healthcare and you see the results.  Again, all in their best interest, but they are more committed to maintaining their social stature amongst their like-thinking friends and family than actually thinking about why these are good policies that could ultimately help them.  

      •  Too many equate 'best interest' (8+ / 0-)

        as 'what's in it for me.'. The right side values voters generally aren't ashamed or put out that they're making less than their neighbor - partly it's the (calvinist influenced) protestant concept of god determined success. It's really hard for liberals to grok that viewpoint and understand that many just don't see their pocketbook or economic situation as their most important interest.

        •  Yep, this is pretty spot-on. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dragon5616, seethruit

          I feel like it's exacerbated by the "not voting in your own best interest" message, which strikes me as condescending.  Although I've used it myself in the past (lesson learned).

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:17:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (17+ / 0-)
    And thank you again.

    And thank you 3X more.

    The data should not be forced into the agenda or cherrypicked for rec list purposes. Unfortunately, I see much too much of that going on at Daily Kos anymore.

    And now for a link that will no doubt set off more protestations: Rise of the Religious Left.

    On the surface it may seem surprising, but, in fact, it's quite logical. Blacks and Hispanics, two highly religious groups, are a growing part of the Democratic Party. A June 2009 Gallup report found that blacks and Hispanics constituted 30 percent of the party. Recent polling by Pew puts the number at 37 percent.

    Now, what will be interesting to watch is the degree to which this intrudes into the comfort zone of people on Daily Kos who are quite certain they, and only they, are Obama's base.

    Damn you and your faint praise!

    by indubitably on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:34:34 AM PDT

  •  Thank you (16+ / 0-)

    couldn't agree more. Very well said.

    We have challenges this year but reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated.

    Peace,

    Andrew

    REBOOTNY.org - Time to reboot the New York State Senate

    by Andrew C White on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:35:47 AM PDT

  •  I can't join your pledge (7+ / 0-)

    But recommended for a well-constructed and insightful point.

    I hope you are well.  Have a nice holiday.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:36:51 AM PDT

  •  Ah, a scholary approach (12+ / 0-)

    I'll hold a genuine hope that the comments don't devolve into senseless sniping by the usual suspects, heheheh.

    But even if I"m disappointed in that hope, thanks for a diary expressing a point of view positively, minus any shrill meta!

  •  you must be a lit major dude (10+ / 0-)

    I don't think the numbers are saying what some people want them to say

    i guess i'm being hyper rational.  enthusiasm doesn't matter to me, we need to groom and train better candidates, vote early, and work on gotv.  

  •  Tipped and recommended (16+ / 0-)

    ... for starting a civil discussion on an important topic.

    Lisa

    All Kossacks are my allies, but if you can't express your thoughts in a civil and kind manner, I won't be engaging in a conversation with you.

    by Boston to Salem on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:41:42 AM PDT

  •  awesome analysis (10+ / 0-)

    and thank you for catching this.

    And using facts to show a conclusion rather then emotional outrage to gin up some anger.

  •  We'll see how it goes.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allep10, foufou, FiredUpInCA

    The self-proclaimed "true progressives" will remain loudly out in force, trying to achieve Democratic losses, so that they can do their "see???? we told you so!!! neenerneenerNEEEEEENEEER!" thing.

    They may win the fight against Democrats, and get their dream of a republican held house and/or senate. I'm still optimistic though.

    We'll see.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:48:48 AM PDT

  •  Here's more food for thought: (28+ / 0-)

    Enthusiasm gaps are hugely sensitive to voter contact efforts like canvassing, phonebanking, etc.  Since it's a holdiay weekend and I don't have access to all of my research, I can't cite chapter and verse, but I can give an excellent, recent example.

    During the final 10 - 14 days (need my notes to be sure of exact time frame) of the senate race  in MA, local OFA volunteers and OFA volunteers from around the country made hundreds of thousands of contacts with voters for the first time.  That is, that prior to OFA being called in at the last minute, their was no field program in place in MA.  And very interestingly, while a field plan cannot overcome a bad candidate, a bad campaign, a non-existent field plan, etc., it can do other things -- and it did in MA.  

    In the final days of the campaign, the voter contact efforts of OFA volunteers whittled the enthusiasm gap from approximately 14% to 4% (again, I need my notes to be postiive of the numbers).  So while I am generally one of those activists who believes that you have to keep working for many, many reasons, the enthusiasm gap is a particular metric that can easily be substantially influenced by a good ground game. Using it as an excuse not to participate is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and unlike other arguments that are often put forth on this site to support not supporting the Democrats in November, this impact has been empirically proven by reliable research.  

    Sorry not to be more articulate or precise.  I have beach brain today :-)

    Thanks!

    Where are their votes?

    by mindoca on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:49:09 AM PDT

    •  That's a great comment - when it's (7+ / 0-)

      not the weekend, would you be willing to write a diary on this?  I think that's very useful information.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:51:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't really have the time :-( (8+ / 0-)

        Too busy "doing the work" (LOL).

        (And honestly, also disinclined given the devolution of discourse on Daily Kos.)  

        I forgot to say this above but thanks for a great piece of work!

        Where are their votes?

        by mindoca on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:04:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, but think about how helpful it could be (7+ / 0-)

          to those of us who are thinking about getting more involved with GOTV but need a wise, informed member of the community to show us just how important it is!  You could be that person!

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:20:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL. I am that person. (9+ / 0-)

            At least one of them here on Daily Kos.  And even in the best of times, it has been like howling at the moon. I've done my fair share of contributing over the years, but between spending several hours preparing a diary that will most likely sink like a stone or spending the same time training people who actually want to, you know, do the work, I am opting for the latter this year.  

            Thanks for your kind words -- and your work!

            Whether we lose 1 or a 100 seats in the House, we'll waste more ink debating what those losses "mean" than we ever did organizing to prevent them. - pico (ed.)

            by mindoca on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:39:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is all very true. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, oxon

              However, speaking as an organizer/canvasser/phonebanker in the past myself, you cannot create an enthusiam for doing the work without ammunition. This has been a point I have made many times here; you have to have a product, you cannot sell a product based upon the deficiencies of the competition. DLC politics leaves very little contrast, and "they are crazy sounds" every bit as offputting to the prospect as critics here do when they decry halfmeasures.

              While it is very true that most votes out there are there for the asking, most people in this country do not vote, you have to arm those doing the asking in order to create the enthusiasm to actually do so. This is very difficult to do in the absence of easily understandable policy measures, and that is precisely what we lack right now.

              the enthusiasm gap is a particular metric that can easily be substantially influenced by a good ground game. Using it as an excuse not to participate is a self-fulfilling prophecy,

              In communities like the one in which I have been active, a red one, memories are long. You cannot sell without results and expect to be believed a second time. Much of what I am seeing is a direct backlash against raised expectations. I am not going to be able to go back to that well twice, nor will I be able to mobilize the same troops who now feel burned.

              This is the problem with of year elections, and it is one of the reasons that so many, myself included, have been as harsh in our judgments as we have been. The arguments that fly here meet the wall in, for example, an unemployed person's living room. I cannot explain the Catfood Commission to those who see Social Security as a necessity in their future. I cannot parse the healthcare Bill in a soundbyte that ends in "you will get a pony in 2014."

              It is a lot more complex situation for many of us out here in the sticks than you describe.

              A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

              by nippersdad on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:29:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're doing it wrong if issues are interfearing (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lightshine, seethruit

                with GOTV.  There is one issue in GOTV, it is your responsibility to your community, and to our nation.  People died for your right to vote, and you honer them by using it.  That's all you say.  When people bring up "lesser of two evils" or "I don't like the candidates" tell them they're free to vote for the green party or a write in.  It's still their civic duty to vote.

                You ID people beforehand to find out if they're left leaning, Democratic, etc, and then you only target those people in your GOTV efforts.  If you get them to the polls, you assume they support you.

                You don't get bogged down in conversations about policy during GOTV, you just talk about the importance of voting in principle.

                "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:55:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps you missed the references (0+ / 0-)

                  to a red community in the sticks? This is FOX News central, policy is all we have. If you talk about honor and who died to protect your freedoms you just won a vote for Saxby. Doesn't matter that he is a slimy hypocrite, you are not the only influence in the room.

                  All the Republican Party has here is the stykish way they wear the flag and the insouciance with which they carry the cross. It is issues or stay home.

                  A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                  by nippersdad on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:09:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's what Databases are for (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lightshine

                    They tell you where the Democrats live, and then you go visit Democrats only.  The people should be IDed as Democrats and supporters before you GOTV their house.

                    "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                    by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:23:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I know Bob, he is a very nice guy.* (0+ / 0-)

                      I was under the impression that the main part of activism was moving the opposition to your point of view.

                      He already agrees with me.

                      * Slight exaggeration alert.

                      A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                      by nippersdad on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:30:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Nope a bigPart of activism is mobilizing the base (0+ / 0-)

                        Getting people who already support you to the polls is the only part of GOTV.  You want people who don't support you to forget it's election day.

                        "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                        by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:15:43 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In a blue District, maybe. (0+ / 0-)

                          Those responsible for motivating the base, IMHO, are the candidates and the records they have forged for themselves. I am not into branding, that is their job. My job is (was) to attempt to add to that base in an effort to bring actual political change. If we managed in the process to get some wavering Droplets to the polls that was great, but the more important thing was to add to the pool.

                          Which brings us full circle: That is why good policy was so very necessary.

                          A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                          by nippersdad on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:25:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  People don't remember it's election day because (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nippersdad

                            of policies, they remember it's election day because they're reminded.

                            The best way to add to the base is to play to the middle, which is why the policies suck.

                            "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                            by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:27:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't play to the middle. (0+ / 0-)

                            As LBJ said, "The only thing in the middle of the road are dead possums." I play to the right, I try to gain conversions.

                            Preaching to the choir is best left to someone with the voice to do it, it would be counterproductive for me to try. There are many who are far more temperamentally adapted to such an exercise than I, and I have made it a point to know my limitations.

                            The best way to add to the base is to play to the middle, which is why the policies suck.

                            I think this is wrong. Progressive policies work if given a chance. The main problem is that no chance is ever given for them to be tried, much less allowed to succeed. The mushy middle doesn't know what it wants and will respond to the strongest voices they hear; history has shown this conclusively.

                            Touting a mirage seldom brings the same degree of relief as directions to an actual oasis in the desert.

                            A Republican is someone who can't enjoy his privileged position unless he is certain that somewhere, someone is in excruciating agony. I Love OCD

                            by nippersdad on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 05:26:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  11 months out of the year, your method is correct (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nippersdad

                            In October, right before an election, my method is.  We're talking about different parts of organizing; both parts are important.  GOTV is different than the party building organizing you're talking about, and both parts of organizing are equally important.

                            "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

                            by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 10:32:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  I feel you (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mindoca, pico, mahakali overdrive

              I've been spending a lot of time setting up VAN for GOTV.  Blogging is just a hobby, it's fun, but pretty much a waste of time.

              "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

              by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:35:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  May I co-opt part of your tip jar comment (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pico, kafkananda, Dragon5616, MRA NY, seethruit

        to use as my new signature? I will credit you, of course :-)

        Thanks!

        Where are their votes?

        by mindoca on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:18:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The future is up to us (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mindoca, pico

      we must all get involved to create the results we want to see.

      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:42:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. I hope that your effort here (11+ / 0-)

    doesn't get overlooked because of the holiday weekend.

    I've been wondering how useful "voter enthusiasm" is in the current political reality. Obviously, the Tea Party contingent are more motivated than the average American voter. They are mostly older and mostly White so their status at the top in our society is threatened by demographic changes. Also their political activity is enabled by more free time (no small children) and more reliable income (retirement money and govt checks) than a lot of younger folks who are scrambling to make ends meet in this economy.

    The other thing that I find very deceptive is how some pundits are quick to show a tremendous drop off in support for the Obama presidency by using some 70+ number from Jan 2009. Come on, there is a bandwagon effect, and a lot of people claim a winner whether it's the NE Patriots or the LA Lakers. If they falter, you see all of the soft support melt away. It would be more honest to compare numbers from a year ago (June 2009) to now.

    Why can't they say that hate is 10 zillion light years away- Stevie Wonder

    by blindyone on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:49:14 AM PDT

  •  "pledge to get really involved in this election" (9+ / 0-)

    That quote in your Tip Jar comment is all that matters, actually.

    Whine.

    Or, WORK for CHANGE.

    The option belongs to each citizen.

    Thank you.

    Yes. We. Will.

    •  These words, from Pres Obama today, ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... are the reality that should lead all of us to be calling Senator Reid and urging him to take the step most critical to getting the business of the Senate accomplished - adopt the "Constitutional Option."

      Still, at a time when millions of Americans feel a deep sense of urgency in their own lives, Republican leaders in Washington just don’t get it.  While a majority of Senators support taking these steps to help the American people, some are playing the same old Washington games and using their power to hold this relief hostage – a move that only ends up holding back our recovery.  It doesn’t make sense.

      But I promised those folks in Wisconsin – and I promise all of you – that we won’t back down.  We’re going to keep fighting to advance our recovery.  And we’re going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America.

      It only 'makes sense,' Mr President if  your goal is to further destroy the American middle class, erode the role of legitimate government, as you do your unfailing service to your corporatist overlords.

      END THE FILIBUSTER - NOW - Senator Reid.

      Yes. We. Did. ... Begin.

      by understandinglife on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:30:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unrealistic (0+ / 0-)

        They can't "end the filibuster" now, unless 2/3rds of a majority (67 Senators) vote for it.
        When the Senate enters the 111th Congress, they can change the rules with a simple majority.

        How come the dove get to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

        by skohayes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 04:10:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Particularly Good Entry (4+ / 0-)

    in what is a particularly tired debate.  

    Tipped and recc'd.  

    http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Benjamin%20Gross berg&page=1

    by claytonben on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:53:56 AM PDT

  •  Great analysis, thanks. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, blindyone, Dragon5616, CS in AZ

    Eyes on the Prize People

    by jstipich on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 11:54:07 AM PDT

  •  eh, I personally think we are in for a bad cycle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, BentLiberal

    Call it the last gasp of the Old Guard or a transition period before we start seeing a period of Democratic control, but I just don't think these elections are going to go well for us.

    We almost assuredly hold the Senate, but with less than 55 seats. I'm 50/50 on holding the House.

    As for 2012, if the Reps find a halfway decent candidate, I'm not convinced the EC is favorable to Obama, but I don't see how they find a halfway decent candidate given their front-runners and their tendency to go with the tried and true over newcomers (meaning Palin/Gingrich/Romney as the likely opponents).

  •  Great work! Thank you (7+ / 0-)

    for putting this information together... excellent analysis, much needed and much appreciated.

  •  not sure I agree with your optimism here (9+ / 0-)

    but recommended anyway because of some damn cool analysis and graphs.  This is top notch stuff, whether one agrees with your conclusions or not.

    Bravo.

  •  That health care lags a distant 5th (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, pico, Bush Bites, Dragon5616

    In importance Behind amorphous issues like "National Security", "deficits" - who the heck knows exactly how this affects your daily life ? This just boggles my mind. How clueless is the voter surely?

  •  I was impressed with the difference in voters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, oxon, Futuristic Dreamer, Dragon5616

    in 2006 and 2008.  Democratic voters are in the majority and need to be mobilized.  GOTV efforts need to emphasize the difference between the Democratic agenda and achievements and the party of "No" especially in the Senate which has roadblocked and watered down legislation passed by the House.

    One Washington-Gregoire! One Country-Obama!

    by yakimagrama on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:08:00 PM PDT

  •  pollsters are fucking morons (0+ / 0-)

    Do not site polls. The people who commission polls and the pollsters themselves cannot be trusted.

    No one knows if the base is demoralized. I am pissed, and I can be categorized as a member of the base but one person is not proof and neither is a dumb ass poll.

    This whole fight is stupid.

    The Democrats in congress and the President have passed watered down legislation and that has made certain people not happy. That is the truth. You can read the statements of union leaders, advocacy groups and other folks and hear their anger. You don't need a poll to gauge this. There are actual statements to read.

    So stop with the manipulation of polling data to suit your view.

    First, Alaska brought us Sarah Palin. Now, "smoked salmon flavored vodka." Can we get a restraining order against them?

    by jbou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:08:47 PM PDT

    •  "Manipulation of data"? (23+ / 0-)

      You know, you can disagree with my conclusions all you want, but don't go there.  I'm giving you the numbers from Pew and WaPo/NBC, and I'm asking for conversation.   You don't have to like their numbers, but don't dare accuse me of manipulating them.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:10:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hahahahaha (0+ / 0-)

        You have an agenda. You want to prove something so you take the data and spin it to fit your narrative. Don't act like you are above what all the other folks do too.

        First, Alaska brought us Sarah Palin. Now, "smoked salmon flavored vodka." Can we get a restraining order against them?

        by jbou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:13:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which data did I spin? I can't respond if you (12+ / 0-)

          don't give me examples.  

          Also: it's "cite", not "site".

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:15:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you spun... (0+ / 0-)

            the numbers. your whole diary is spin. you cite numbers and offer spin.

            First, Alaska brought us Sarah Palin. Now, "smoked salmon flavored vodka." Can we get a restraining order against them?

            by jbou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:21:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  lol, if I didn't know any better, (20+ / 0-)

              I'd think this was some kind of performance art.  

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:22:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think many of us would like to see.. (34+ / 0-)

              ...a retort to pico that is as well-reasoned as his diary is. So, if you've got one, please, let's see it. But this repetition of your-diary-is-spin-because-I-say-so is, well, frankly, playground-style bullshit.

              pico's diary could be citing numbers and making analysis. Or it could be citing numbers and spin. But you're not making a case, you're just sticking out your tongue.

              Haley Barbour: "No one has more to lose in this deal than BP."

              by Meteor Blades on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:28:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I definitely invite it. (14+ / 0-)

                These are just poll numbers, after all, and there's a lot of room for interpretation, if not questions of relevance.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:36:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  wow, is it good to see you here! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Terri

                thanks!

                this has been the problem now for ages, a few negative voices try to start massive arguments without substance to drown out those who want to discuss facts.

                sadly, it appears to be the same crew - over and over again.

                pico's diary is excellent and a challenge for all of us to start rebutting the wildly emotional diaries about how "all dems are fed up".  

                i am always suspicious when folks make sweeping statements without the data to back it up.  and the arguments to back up the veracity of that data.

                good to have you back, btw.  sorry you're coming back to such a mess.

                8^)

                MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

                by edrie on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:50:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Let me just say... (9+ / 0-)

                  ...as I have elsewhere that I know from my precinct work that many Democrats are fed up and demoralized and disappointed and angry. I run into these people frequently. And I share some of their disappointment.

                  But the response, I believe, is not to fall into despair because despair opens the door to apathy and apathy is a killer of activism, which generates a self-fulfilling prophecy. However many upset rank-and-file Democrats there are, it's progressives' duty to find ways to respond to what's upset them and try to "fire them up" again - at the very least to be sure they cast ballots in the upcoming elections rather than stay home. (I have zero belief that they will vote for Republicans. The Night Owls' poll last night is pretty good evidence that very few will take this approach.)

                  While analyses like pico's may calm us down somewhat, we shouldn't ignore the fact that some voters who we should count on being our side are unhappy. We need to reach out to them, address their unhappiness and show them why staying home, much less voting for the Republicans, will make them a lot more unhappy.

                  Haley Barbour: "No one has more to lose in this deal than BP."

                  by Meteor Blades on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:26:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  mb, we are so on the same page here... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    skohayes

                    i talk myself blue in the face (and THEIR face) on a daily business - mostly showing what change has occurred and how it will take time to move a difficult congress.  also, countering negative energy with positive facts helps to dispell the real fear that many out in the voting world have right now.

                    "firing the voters up" is a sales job - and it is always easy to sell a product you believe in.

                    selling something you don't genuinely believe always comes across as false.  

                    what is really disturbing me around here is that there seems to be a very small element that is always screaming "THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!" and then expecting everyone to run without looking to see if it is true or not.

                    then, the added annoyance for me, personally, is that little blob in the boxquote asking us to send them money so that we can PAY them to scream "THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!"

                    IF the house were on fire, i want someone who can show me and others the fire escape plan, how to execute it, where we go to regroup, how to put OUT the fire, how to rebuild if that fire does damage.

                    also, to further your comment above about reaching out - those on this site who constantly stir up trouble don't WANT anyone to discuss issues - their responses are always the same, to call those who see the OTHER side of the coin: the positive achievements instead of ONLY the negative ones - as "cheerleaders, swallowing the koolaid, bots, etc."

                    namecalling accomplishes only one thing: polarization.  the insulting and nastiness has become a huge distraction at a time when we can least afford it.  we have 4 months until the november election.  our *sses are on the line here.  what we do in these next four months determine what the future is for left ideology - or even moderate ideology.

                    the constant meta coming from the determined publishing by the negative viewers of this administration are NOT contributing to the goal of saving this election.  it is harming it.

                    now, if this site is no longer about influencing the outcome of national elections, okay, then - let's just say that.

                    HOWEVER, IF this site is truly about getting better democrats elected (and they ARE better than republicans! duh), then we need to find a way to stop the conversation from being overrun by those that do that purpose harm.

                    many of us who've been the dialers, phonebankers, footsoldiers, etc. for these last years are posting less and less.  some, like myself, dread clicking onto the site to see what crap is floating on the surface today.  i am demoralized seeing this type of information on a very well known blog that new people come to for insight and understanding.  if i'd come here in the last year instead of 2004, i'd not still be around.  we are losing future activists and participants because of these unchecked and unlimited metawars.

                    it's a pity.  we really ARE shooting ourselves in the foot.  

                    and it's a waste of power that we could wield.

                    that is truly a shame.

                    MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

                    by edrie on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:09:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, we're not totally on the same... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      svboston

                      ...page. Yes, there are some people here who, I suspect, actually want the Democrats to lose. But they are few and far between. And lumping all the critics of Obama in with them is not unfair. The name-calling is hardly one-sided. For every call of "cheerleader," there's a "didn't getcher pony." For every outburst of "Obamabot" there's a shriek of "purist." The polarization does not have its origin in a single source with a single point of view. For every shout of "boostie" there's one of "far left fringey."

                      A more measured, content-based critiquing would from all sides would serve us well.

                      But those of us in the trenches know that the real fight isn't here - with few exceptions, compared with the rest of the country, all of us here are millimeters apart ideologically. (Where we really differ is on strategy and tactics). But we know that the real fight is "out there." And the more we bring back to the site what we're hearing out there, what we're hearing from people we're trying to convince to vote for a good congressional candidate or Senate candidate or state legislature candidate. Looked at and evaluated objectively and honestly, that will tell us more about what we need to do between now and November than all our arguments with each other.

                      Haley Barbour: "No one has more to lose in this deal than BP."

                      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:21:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Is all you can do is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chicago minx

              accuse?  That gets you no respect.

        •  You are out of line. Either offer cogent ... (5+ / 0-)

          ... criticism and enter a reasoned dialogue or all you are doing is being a bully.

          Thank you.

          Yes. We. Did. ... Begin.

          by understandinglife on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:32:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  HAHA joke's on you jbou lol lol nt (0+ / 0-)

          I love me peektures and that is that!

          by matrix on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:36:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, also because of the cell phone issue. (4+ / 0-)

      Polls do not reflect the under 40 crowd very well at all, and more specifically, the 30-40 crowd, which is more likely to vote than the under 30 crowd. I know many polls have a "formula" to make up for the lack of cell phone respondants and young respondants, but who knows how effective those formulas are?

      Yup, I agree 100%: Don't trust polls.

      Oh, and then there's the margin of error issue on soooooo many polls reported in the press. Nothing like hollaring about Reps demolishing Dems with a 44 to 40 result and a margin of error of 4.

    •  Polls are meaningless crap, anyway. (0+ / 0-)

      Always have been, always will be.

      James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

      by shpilk on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:03:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The great immigration debate (8+ / 0-)

    That one is going to be a doozy. Even during the heat of the HCR debates here (which we seem doomed to continue unto the umpteenth generation) I predicted immigration was going to be even worse. Neither the "left" nor the "right" are at all unified on it, and there are going to be some very strange bed-fellows.

    "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:09:16 PM PDT

  •  now that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, jessical, Dragon5616, MRA NY

    is some productive procrastination! I keed, I keed ... I keed, because I love, friend. :D

    Excellent work, thanks!

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:09:46 PM PDT

  •  Well Done (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, Dragon5616, FiredUpInCA

    and well reasoned! Probably too well reasoned for those hellbent on hyperventilating, but its worth a shot.

    Cheers to you!

    ...come join me on my blog: www.righteous-politics.blogspot.com

    by angeleyes on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:17:47 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. (7+ / 0-)

    Good use of the actual data to make an important point.

    I think what we'll see is that, when the chips are down, the Republicans will actually have to run for office, and at that point, we'll see some serious disintegration in their numbers and their final polling.

    The fired up GOP base will not be as fired up by Election Day, and independents will come to see that they just can't put up with the GOP extremes and corporate fawning.

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:18:13 PM PDT

    •  We'll see. I wouldn't be surprised if they're (5+ / 0-)

      still pushing the fear up to and through election day.  Here's hoping the independents see things your way.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:23:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I expect to see them as close to the doors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pico, emsprater

        as election laws allow - hawking their hate, handing out their lying literature and, if they think no one is watching, doing their best to intimidate voters who don't look like them.  Must have Democrat volunteers at every polling place.  MUST.

        "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."

        by Lying eyes on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:36:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  An under appreciated trend has been the (4+ / 0-)

        (somewhat temporary?) splitting off of many rational Republicans as they call themselves 'independent' now. Many don't feel comfortable being a Democrat, but they also recognize (much of) the crazy when they see it. A good example is Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs. There are enough differences with folks here that there is little interaction, but there are many, many common themes also. Where do people like that fit? They are clearly fed up and in a 'pox on both your houses mood'. They don't fit into regular party structures. Will they bother to go vote? And if they do, what is going to be their primary resentment?  :-)

        Let's look forward to sniffing the poll entrails for the subtle essence of the mood this election cycle. I think it will be oversold on so many points but one thing clear to me is that we are in a state of heightened possibilities and it is a mistake to get off the bus now.

        Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

        by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:30:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Especially (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, skohayes

      if the dems point to the contrast in voting records on gop nixing unemployment and a short term bridge to stimulus spending until the states can recover from this drastic downturn.

      •  Bingo. GOP has no record to run on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terri

        and that makes them dangerous to insurgents in the Tea Party, independents, and others.

        Remember what happened to Bob Inglis?  Charlie Crist?  Bob Bennett out in Utah?

        The key is for us (i.e., people who want more and better Democrats) to be ready so that once the campaign gets into full swing we're set to go with our talking points, videos, etc.

        Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

        by Benintn on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 04:48:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's the hatred driving the R numbers (4+ / 0-)

    that is both astonishing and terrifying. Those off-the-charts "enthusiasm" numbers for the Republicans (56%) are really scary as the highest level of Dem enthusiasm was in 2008 and only reached 46%.

  •  shouldn't we also consider the proportion (8+ / 0-)

    each party occupies among the electorate?  In other words, there are simply fewer Republicans than there are Democrats.  Independents kind of make that more difficult to gauge, but, conceivably, couldn't Democrats' larger voter base help ameliorate that gap in enthusiasm?  Republicans certainly aren't pulling away with the generic Congressional numbers (but I think I remember reading why they don't necessarily have to in order to have a decent November), so is this heightened enthusiasm actually translating into something tangible for them that will secure massive gains in November?

    Just a couple of questions that came to mind as I read your diary (excellent food for thought btw).

  •  I'm concerned about WHO is disillusioned. (7+ / 0-)

    There might be a multiplier effect IF the Democrats who are the least enthusiastic are the ones who have done the most campaign volunteer work in past elections. I think there may be some anecdotal evidence for that.

    Also, as another commenter noted, the Republicans' numbers are off the charts, which could result in incredible GOTV, for example.

    Finally, given the lack of voting machine security and who controls the software, fraud is a concern. The enthusiasm gap would make it easier to explain away anomalies when tallying up the vote.

    Dump Obama: An ethical sewer who ignores his legal obligation to prosecute people who tortured prisoners to death. Good at photo ops, though.

    by expatjourno on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:32:10 PM PDT

  •  Oye GOP: nos vemos en noviembre (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oxon, isabelle hayes

    te jodiste

    We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. -- Martin Luther King Jr.

    by mydailydrunk on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:48:32 PM PDT

  •  If we lose control of Congress - I want to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico

    some serious obstructionism coming from our party -
    I mean our guys better not be making nice nice with the other side - or I don't think I'll ever bother voting again.

    United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

    by Cassandra77 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:56:23 PM PDT

    •  Good point. Also veto - or even threat of veto - (4+ / 0-)

      can really dissuade policymakers, which is something that even the mentally challenged former president figured out.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 12:58:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra77

      These are mostly the same people and same leadership we had in congress during the Bush years.

      •  The appeasers - yes, I remember them. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oxon

        So afraid of being called "Obstructionists" by Billy Frist or one of his other vampire brethren.
        The Lieberman wing of the democratic party with a side of Zell Miller. These are our representatives in Washington who believe in give and take.
        The democratic base keep giving them support, they just keep on taking us for fools, and taking all they can get from lobbyists.
        Man, I'm disgusted tonight.

        United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

        by Cassandra77 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 09:25:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Much better retort that what I seen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico

    Attacking people for not supporting the democratic party just because of their spin on polls is silly.

    Okay so this journalist argues that the numbers really aren't very different than they have been for a long time.  Perhaps so.  You have to see how this translates into GOTV efforts, fundraising, etc...

    "There's no green there, they killed their mother" -- Avatar

    by noofsh on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:09:32 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Futuristic Dreamer, Dragon5616, QES

    Very useful information. Unusual perspective. Much appreciated.

  •  People get spooked and frightened (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, kafkananda, Futuristic Dreamer

    What's weird to me is that after 8 years of "very popular wartime president" in the face of all evidence, preceded by 8 years of "public is about to turn on Clinton" also made up, preceded by 12 years of "glorious reagan", people are still so vulnerable to the "Obama is tanking" line that could have been and was predicted well in advance.

    •  Another data point, citizenk, about the fickle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico

      nature of the public mind and the polls that try to read it. The Elder Bush concluded Gulf War One on February 28, 1991. A major triumph that should have greased the skids for another term of the Republican brand of corporatocracy. Exceptional poll numbers. But Rodney King's beating got caught on video on March 3, 1991. And went viral, as we say today. The rest is h*story. The best laid plans and all.

      Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

      by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:55:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what makes me mad (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jaysunb, kafkananda, skohayes, blindyone

        is when those ringing the bells for the funeral claim to be just being a messenger or speaking the truth. We all know that public opinion swings - and we should know that the struggle continues no matter what. And most of all, many of us know that the odds are tough: the rich and powerful are hard to beat. So "we're doomed" is not a neutral message, it's not just passing along information, it is actively sabotaging. What's most sad is that many of the doom-sayers are themselves victims. They have let the Republicans into their heads and are now running around trying to infect others.

  •  I see no reason for confidence or pessimism. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, kafkananda

    Thanks, pico.

    The psychology of turnout and its role would be an interesting topic. No doubt for the 2012 election there will be far more analysis and numbers available.

    Midterms and enthusiasm...

    Charlie Cook, nominally a kossack, has a pretty darn good record IMO and he's been predicting midterms trouble for Dems since the inauguration. The DNC and the WH seems nervous about 2008's first time voters. And the only demographic group Obama had a big loss in was the over 65 bunch and some of them must have, er...well at least some of them won't be voting. Maybe the Dem margin has edged high enough that unenthusiasm and a bad economy won't matter.

    To whatever extent fund raising is a factor the Dems are far ahead of the GOP. Then on the distribution, organization, and enthusiasm, Kaine and Dean couldn't be more different.

  •  Charlie Cook (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jaysunb, virginislandsguy, kafkananda

    has had a charmed life re credibility up to this point but he is so far off in his predictions for the midterms that I suspect his phone will go very very quiet after November.

    Much of his analysis seems based more on the MSNBC water cooler than on anything that comes from actual polling.

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:23:09 PM PDT

    •  I agree re Charlie Cook. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      virginislandsguy

      Maybe this is a fuzzy memory, :-), but wasn't he a little slow to get on the bus re the Democratic wave in 2006? And aren't pollsters in general pretty cagey in how they word things? I think we over emphasize the element of 'contest' and under utilize the unity of the people working together.

      WE should use polls wisely, but we shouldn't let them control us either.

      Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

      by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:13:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if the R enthusiam is for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, oxon, kafkananda

    R candidates; the divisions in the republican party are real, and IMO the enthusiam poll is driven by a heightened ideological purity that might be more enthusiastic for a hypothetical pure R than the actual flesh and blood and not so pure R that is nominated.

    Someone on daily kos called me a poopyhead. My life is SO like Nelson Mandela's.

    by Inland on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:26:18 PM PDT

    •  Absolutely, and I think we'll see that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inland

      coming into play more prominently in 2012, when they attempt to go up against Obama.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:35:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point. (0+ / 0-)

      All the various factions of the Republican party can be very enthusiastic about voting for a 'Republican'. Thus Republican enthusiasm could be 100%. Oh noes!!! Of course, that is their own idea of what is a 'Republican'. But as the primaries over there have shown, there is some dispute about that.

      Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

      by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:19:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Futuristic Dreamer, QES

    You convinced me.

  •  I am totally missing the point of this diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Republican enthusiasm is markedly higher than 1994, when they swept into power.  Democratic enthusiasm is down from 2006, and require massive turnout of unenthusiastic voters to offset the built-in advantage of the out-of-power party.

    And this was supposed to be good news?

    It's not whistling past the graveyard.. it's whistling as your emergency parachute fails to open.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:27:27 PM PDT

    •  I'm pretty certain I didn't call it good news, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, ViralDem, matrix

      in fact, I repeated a few times that we're facing the potential for big losses in November.  Where I differ in my reading of the data from the people whose essays I linked above is, I don't see any reason to believe that we're suffering an enthusiasm gap because of widespread dissatisfaction with the Democrats - in fact, we're not all that dissatisfied.  That could be key in our GOTV efforts, which at this point may deal with minimizing losses.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:34:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like the looks of the CNN poll today that has (9+ / 0-)

    the majority of readers voting that THEY BLAME REPUBLICANS FOR THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.

    Love that.

    I also love that Republicans have alienated the Latino vote across the country and their radical views expressed by Tea Partiers and Rand Paulites and Sarah Palinistas are alienating loads of independents AND Republicans.

    Personally, I think the Republican brand is rotten for most Americans and once we make it clear that not voting in November means REPUBLICANS TAKE CHARGE AGAIN, that should get a whole lot of Dem voters to the polls.

    GOTV and get MORE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS IN NOVEMBER!

    It's Big Oil's Disaster, no matter how much the opposition wishes it was Obama's.

    by Little Lulu on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:35:33 PM PDT

  •  The Pew data shows the base IS falling off (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, CTPatriot, pico, bigchin, priceman

    Let us define what is "the base." That would be the most enthusiastic portion of people voting Democratic.

    So citing the entirety of enthusiasm among Democratic voters doesn't address the question the diarist seeks to call "damned lies."

    From the Pew link (second page):

    In 2002 liberal Dems and indies (lean Dem) formed an equally enthused base, with 46% and 45% respectively, compared to 38% for conservative/moderate Dems.

    In 2006 liberal Dems surged to 53%, indies unchanged, con/mod Dems 43%. Remember 2006? That's when we nailed the GOP to the wall. Liberal Democrats as a group ARE the base.

    In 2010 enthusiasm from the base that gave us 2006 and 2008 mojo plunged to 37%, a 16-point drop.

    THAT is what is called a discouraged base.

    Case closed.

    •  Right, but I explained in the diary why (8+ / 0-)

      being the party out of power tends to inflate enthusiasm numbers, while off-year incumbency does the opposite: look at where the Republican 'base' was in 2006, for comparison, which is much lower than our 'base' is now.  The drop since 2002 is a concern, but I tried to argue that there are normal factors involved that don't rely on crafting a narrative that I haven't seen compelling evidence for.  

      By the way, you have a strangely inconsistent definition of 'base', if it's 'the most enthusiastic portion of people voting Democratic', because this year that would be the moderates Democrats, no?  They've actually changed places with the liberal Democrats, which is interesting indeed.

      What's more concerning for all of us is the independent/lean-Dem voter, who we can't afford to lose in tight races.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:43:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conservative/moderate Dems are NOT the base (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CTPatriot, pico, bigchin

        This group had a meager 2-point increase in enthusiasm. They don't become the base just because liberals have become disenchanted.

        They most certainly elect Blue Dog candidates in the South, but I believe the Southern Strategy is owned and operated by the GOP.

        Having said that, I'll repeat what I've posted many times before: The Dems are in trouble, but the Repubs are in worse shape. Their vaunted enthusiasm has so far resulted in mostly electing incredibly unelectable teabaggers. The GOP leadership is in disarray.

        The only thing I see giving the GOP a much needed life raft is Corporate America, which could easily swamp both sides in campaign financing. THAT is the gorilla in the room. Forget the teabaggers. In fact, more power to those nutjobs. The more crazy the far Right gets, the better for the Dems.

        •  Why aren't they the base? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluicebank, oxon, skohayes

          Sorry, I'm just not following your argument here.  I'll have to play my hand and say I don't really believe in a 'base' outside of 'those people who show up to vote', and if they're showing up to vote, they're as much a part of the base as anyone.  (For that we'd need voting numbers, not polling enthusiasm numbers.)

          On the rest we agree, though: Republicans may make some short term gains here, but they seem to be wrecking their party's long term stability.  That might be way Democrats are already starting to open up the immigration discussion, too: if they want to keep feeding the Tea Bag fires, they're going to have to accept both the full-on hate and widespread rejection that'll come with the territory.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:17:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because conservative/moderates ... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CTPatriot, pico, bigchin, seethruit

            have not been a driving force in elections. Not for the Democratic Party, not for a long time.

            Yes, we need their votes, just like we need the indies. By the way, imho I think the shift in indy support is skewed by the teabaggers fed up with the GOP, so they became self-identified independents. I don't believe it for a minute.

            How many conservative/moderate Democratic blogs are out there? How many conservative Dems are rallying the troops? And by definition, moderates are not your base. If the GOP had any moderates left, they wouldn't be leading the charge, either. It's always the core from the Right or Left that works the hardest for the Repubs and Dems respectively.

            •  From the perspective of self-identification, (0+ / 0-)

              I expect there are a lot more moderates than not, but again I'd like to see what the actual Pew breakdown is, numbers-wise, and whether people self-identified or were asked to pick a descriptor.  Whether we agree with this Gallup data or not, it suggests that a very few people self-identify as liberal, even among Democrats.  You're probably right that they should be the most enthusiastic party supporters, as they're further from the opposite party than the moderates.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:45:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pew has a better breakdown; Liberals rule (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, pico, bigchin, skohayes, seethruit

                As we know, the terms conservative and liberal are broad. The USA Today/Gallup poll shows this:

                Gallup/USA Today polling in June 2010 revealed that 42% of those surveyed identify as "conservative", 35% as "moderate", while 20% identify as "liberal"

                In 2005 Pew did an exhaustive survey of what people mean by conservative, moderate and liberal, breaking out nine groups (three each). It's worth a read. Among registered voters:

                Liberals lead at 19%
                Conservative Dems are at 15%
                Social conservatives are at 13%
                Upbeat moderates are at 13%
                Tied at 10% are disadvantaged Dems, pro-government conservatives and disaffected moderates.

                It's five years old, and I hope Pew does another one. But it is far more telling. To lump the variegated conservatives (some anti-gov, some pro-gov, some religious Right) into one category and compare them to the sub-category of liberals makes it look like we're the most unpopular of the bunch. In fact, liberals are the strongest of the varied landscape.

                We da base!

                •  Hrm. I wonder how that applies to the numbers (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bluicebank, seethruit

                  the new Pew polls, since "disaffected" doesn't necessarily gibe with either liberal or moderate.  A lot depends on how they self-identified in these polls.

                  Regardless, thanks for keeping this conversation and the disagreements on this level (it doesn't happen enough here), and I appreciate all the information.  

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:24:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Different polling (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bigchin

                    The recent Pew poll isn't the more rare typology poll they've done in the past (they have done a total of four of those).

                    When we see the large number of people self-identifying as "conservative," remember that 15% of registered Democrats are in that group (according to the 2005 topology study).

                    But as the voting numbers show, only 9% of Dems and 9% of Repubs crossed lines in the 2008 presidential election. A conservative Democrat isn't the same as a conservative Republican.

                    Remember the neocons? They are the pro-government conservatives of the Bush era. Today's anti-government teabaggers were strangely silent during the Bush years. And now the neocons are hardly to be heard from (well, they changed their spots, ya know; think Dick Cheney).

                    And then there is the Religious Right, which seems to be getting the bum's rush from the teabaggers. The social conservatives are 13% of registered voters. Wonder how that's going to play in November?

                    Of course, there's no way you're going to convince the anti-government conservatives that there are more of us than of them. They will point to the polling! The polling that lumps them in with pro-government neocons (a word they hate) and (gasp) a bunch of Democrats.

                    Teabaggers don't do nuance.

    •  I also updated the diary with your correction, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigchin, StepLeftStepForward

      because you're right that I got that point wrong.  I explained more about my reading of the numbers in the update.  Cheers!

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:07:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Defeatist Talk. Armaggedon sick of it. (9+ / 0-)

    This diary offers a great counter-point to all of the Chicken Little ranting and raving that has dominated so much of the discourse around here lately. For one thing, it's only the beginning of July and polls about the off year election just don't mean very much just yet. Wake me in September.

    For another thing, this isn't a national election. So, national polls don't necessarily mean much, either. The Congress will be held or lost based on district by district and state by state results, not by any national measure.

    For another thing, all national measures, of enthusiasm, affiliation, etc., are skewed by the continued existence of the lunatics who dominate politics in most of the South and some of the West, areas where there aren't many blue seats to lose.

    For another thing, Republicans can be trusted. They can be trusted to support the wrong ideas, oppose the right ideas and to render themselves repugnant to huge swaths of the electorate, just by opening their mouths. For this week's examples see Boehner's ideas on entitlements and Steele's remarks about Afghanistan, among others.

    It's way too soon for the good guys to despair. There will be plenty of time for that later.  

    "If you are going to tell people the truth, be funny or they will kill you." Billy Wilder 1906 - 2002

    by LeftOfYou on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:41:50 PM PDT

    •  State and local enthusiasm levels, too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blindyone, LeftOfYou

      I expect California will have a pretty energized electorate on both sides of the political spectrum. I'm in Texas and the governor's race has both D and R high interest. In other places voters may be feeling pretty ho-hum about what will be on their ballot.

      "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

      by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:22:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You've written a highly astute analysis, thanks (17+ / 0-)

    This accords with many of my own perceptions and observations as well. And even here, with there is supposed mass discontent (and I don't discredit individual discontent, although I do feel that the ramifications of voters ought be considered, such as BrooklynBadBoy wrote yesterday in his very sharp diary)... the poll from ThisIsMyTime's diaries showed it was only 1/4 of this site that was frustrated. I found that fascinating, and not surprising. I also, while I believe HCR is a key platform issue for Democrats, don't believe, as you have pointed out in this diary, that it's nearly as make-it-or-break it as some suggest, coming in, as you noted, as a 6th issue in terms of relevance to Democratic voters.

    That's not to say we don't need to improve our HCR; we do. But to do that, casting perceptions of anger upon the Party as a whole does not help to accomplish that task. Neither does alienating the masses of people who are both content AND frustrated. We could all be more careful in this department.

    Otherwise we are that proverbial circular firing squad.

    I've become very frustrated by this, since I see it as largely a manufactured schism between people who sort of agree rather than folks who definitely do and don't agree.

    We should be more graceful to one another, listen more, and be careful about how we present our own views, particularly if we're working to persuade rather than inflame.

    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:42:12 PM PDT

  •  Excellent diary (10+ / 0-)

    and I think if we look at why Republicans are so fired up, we'll have more good news... they're fired up because they are voting for insane people.

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:50:11 PM PDT

  •  I Put Some but Not Much Stock in Polls (5+ / 0-)

    purportedly measuring voters' enthusiasm.

    The word "enthusiasm" for Republicans seems (from where I sit in the jungles of the sub-tropics) to be a measure of their hatred for (whatever) and their degree of anger verging on violent explosion for all things non-white, non-Christian, and non-pro 2nd Amendment.

    Republicans like to vote against, and it's much easier to ramp up your emotion in opposition than it is to create a false excitement for competency, which is what Democratic voters tend to vote for.

    Republican voters don't care how incompetent a candidate is as long as (s)he knows how to push their buttons on the three key issues mentioned above.

    Democratic voters, by contrast, want to support candidates who have more intangible qualities, like "vision for the future," "ideas about how to make everyone's lives better," and "can produce change," none of which provoke visceral reactions that swell and explode into enthusiasm.

    Voter turn out is the question that concerns me.

    To the degree in which vision, plans, and alternatives are absent in Democratic candidates, will Democratic voters be bothered to vote?

    I know Republicans can be ejected from their recliners at the touch of a button.  Currently the field of candidates seems awash in button-pushers.

    "ingratiation and access . . . are not corruption." -- Justice Kennedy (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010)

    by Limelite on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:52:28 PM PDT

    •  That is the Million Dollar Question: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Limelite

      will the Democrats come out to vote?  We have superior numbers, but our GOTV in off-years isn't that great, traditionally, and we don't have the extra motivation of 2006.  That's why I'm encouraging everyone to get as involved as they can.  It's going to be a tough fight.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:55:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The key number to me is 31%, the percentage... (5+ / 0-)

    of people who want a rethug-controlled congress, that actually support rethug policies, whatever they are.  This is why rethugs act like lunatics, and a large number of rethug voters still support them... very disturbing.

    " But as Americans, and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear. We will not be intimidated." - President Obama, 5/4

    by BarackStarObama on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:54:25 PM PDT

    •  That is the authoritarian base. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amk for obama, BarackStarObama

      So tied up in knots inside, that only a miracle can break them free from self identification with their own mind workings. They are acting out more now because at a primal level they know they are going the way of the dinosaur. It's only a matter of time and circumstance.

      Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

      by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:06:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  rec'd for "pretty weak tea y'all are bagging!" (7+ / 0-)

    as well as interesting analysis.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    --Tom Harkin

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:58:32 PM PDT

  •  The Numbers Never Lie (12+ / 0-)

    Excellent work, Pico.

    We all work from "emotions" here, for the most part. The best of us work from "Instincts" -- which I define as one-third emotions and two-thirds numbers.

    As I've said again and again, I simply do not see this coming election as a threat to either the House or the Senate. I just cannot feel it -- and I spend a lot of time researching the right and the messaging they pound.

    The thing about the messaging is that it is freakish, abhorrent, socio-phobic, and slightly pornographic -- and completely thrilling to the media.

    But I still don't see a great wave of Democratic losses, where the pencil meets the paper in the polling booth.

    ::
    The Pluto Chronicles. You want reality? You can't handle reality!

    by Pluto on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 01:58:33 PM PDT

  •  Yes, many are losing some faith but, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, svboston

    they are daily given every reason to. They're not going to vote for GOBP but, they'd sure like to see a few crumbs to show up at all to vote for Dems. People are getting hungry after a year and a half with results that have not benefited them. I'll vote for their betterment, if thats even possible.

  •  Reading the Pew Poll Numbers ... (10+ / 0-)

    one needs to look at the actual gap (the percentage points in the gap and not the numbers on either side). This means that to actually read the poll is to point to the gap itself and not the actual numbers, as some commenters above have done.

    The gap would be like this:

    1994 15% gap in Republican favor
    1998 4% in Republican favor
    2002 4% in Republican favor
    2006 16% in Democratic favor
    2010 14% in Republican favor

    That puts the gap squarely within historical averages. It looks like less intensity than 1994, but still something of a route.

    The real question I have for everyone who simply wants to gloat about what you consider to be the failures of this Presidency (some of which, individually, I may agree with) is this: How the hell are you going to re-elect a Obama after two years of a Republican lead congress in a time of complete and total economic disaster. They are only going to make things worse the minute they come into power, and likely transfer even more wealth to the top 1% while millions of people are likely going to be out on the street?

    I also would like to see hard data on the unemployed. If the unemployed vote (and it's a question, will they or won't they), what factor will that play in this falls election? There are tens of millions of unemployed voters out there. We should be organizing those people to vote Dem in the fall because they know that their lives depend on it. It's easier said than done (pretty hard to organize anything when you are trying to keep from going under), but it seems to me that this is where the Dems should be looking to make up ground in the gap.

    I honestly wish people would grasp the simple, basic, fact that division is a political tool. It is much more important, at this stage in history and the game, to focus on the very real differences a Rep and Dem congress would mean than to rehash old debates. As someone who lost his unemployment this week, I really wish people would focus on what is urgent and needed and not on their own psycho-drama surrounding Obama. The psychodrama is all yours and belongs to you. It does no one else any good. Out here, in the world, people are being thrown out of their homes and unable to put food on the table. Let's think about those people when we act, including what we do here. Can people give the drama a rest and focus on what we can actually do? We may still lose seats, but if every whiner and complainer on here (and, again, I may agree with your criticisms and you have every right to make them, but so what, what good is it doing any of us) ... if every one of you simply focused your energy where it belongs, which is on helping those of us who are going to be wiped out if the Republicans take back Congress, instead of on your own hurt feelings or selfish sense of "see I was right in my criticism of Obama" psychodrama ... then we would be in a lot better shape.

    Criticism is great, useful, necessary, but it is meaningless when it grounds itself out in psychodrama and a replay of the campaign wars where things are seen in black and white terms. Please, people, give up the drama and focus on what we can do in the here and now.

  •  Good analysis, thank you! nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou
  •  Here's hoping, drational jump in please.......nt (0+ / 0-)

    Have you tried getting EXCELLENT lately?

    by kafkananda on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:42:11 PM PDT

  •  frankly, I don't give a damn for the (5+ / 0-)

    enthusiasm gap or the demoralization conclusions. Its just more of the vilify Obama so he'll be more progressive crap as far as I am concerned.

    The people who write these diaries are basically disaffected and are pushing their own agendas.

    I rarely read polls anyway and after the polling debacle here i certainly am not inspired to believe anyone's analysis.

    The election will be what all elections are. The winners will be those who get more votes. As far as I am concerned the only criteria is to keep Republicans and Libertarians out of government.

    I am probably fairly typical of your average voter. Interested in the future and not obsessed with the minutiae of polling or politics.

    I am ttoally satisfied with the Obama adminsitration and shell work my arse off to get hik re-elected and hope that the democrats dont' lose too many seats this November and shall devote my energy to makign sure people like that dreadful Sharron Angles doesn't get elected!!!! God help us.

    For me its simple, and I am ignoring the amateur analysis for now.

    In one way it is a matter of the less worse candidates. It always is, since noone ever gets exactly what they want.  

  •  THANK YOU PICO! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy, amk for obama

    I THINK I LOVE YOU!!!

    okay, i'm not coming down to your house - your sweetie has no worries... 8^)

    but thank you for this diary!

    i've been over in that "other" diary beating my head against the wall to try to put some balance on the sheets for those who might lurk by and read it.

    what is WITH that crew?  

    whatever their problem, it is time for the majority of this site to start to fight back and counter the misrepresentations and allegations over there with fact - and you've done it!  MORE diaries like this one and MORE from blackwaterdog and more of us to point out the success so far of this administration.

    when the naysayers get all the headlines over and over decrying the "failure" of the democrats, some of it is going to stick. those that can take advantage of their narrow and limited opinions will do so.  we need to out voice them and stand strong to support the positive changes that have occurred in so short of time.

    we need to do serious contrasts to the damage done by the republicans during their reign (of terror) and compare it to what this administration and congress have accomplished - in SPITE of the obstruction and deliberate attempts to block everything.

    your diary is welcomed and needs to STAY on top of the list!  i'm adding my recommendation - along with my gratitude.

    but, then, i'd expect nothing LESS than spectacular from you, dearr pico!

    MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

    by edrie on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 02:43:31 PM PDT

  •  Wow. EXCELLENT unpacking of all the polls and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, amk for obama

    numbers. You're Nate Silver-level quality.

    And LOVES me them Latino numbers.

  •  IF Congress gets off their ass - specifically (2+ / 0-)

    the Senate and starts doing stuff these numbers will be meaningless. The reason people are bummed out is because Reid simply cannot make things work.

    Call the Repugs on their bluff. Make them actually filibuster the unemployment extension.

    Hold them out for ridicule, and watch as their caucus disintegrates. Collins, Snowe, Staplenads and a few others cannot stand the heat for long. But Harry won't even TRY, he just let's them control the process.

    James Carville emerges from the conflagration, riding a burning alligator.

    by shpilk on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:03:04 PM PDT

  •  Soooo, how about a massive, uncompromised (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, amk for obama

    JOBS bill in August that the Senate uses the nuclear option to deliver on?

    I think it's time for some good ole' time Democratic politicking.  LOL  They are already screaming about us being the tax and spend crew, so what the hell.

    End the Bush Tax Cuts LOUDLY and in an unabashedly in your face populist way while SCREAMING it's "for reducing the structural deficit!"

    Then, pivot and create a national jobs program to buy windmills and solar panel arrays (subsidies/ tax credits to those American companies for retooling and creating American based jobs), national paid training grants and putting people to work to redo the electrical grid, and establish a National Renewable Energy Company on publicly owned land.  When it's operational, everyone in America could be given the choice to buy their electricity from the National Collective, or their local dirty energy monopoly.

    Stand back and watch Republican heads explode and voters stream to the voting booths.

    Okay.  I can dream.

  •  Truthiness (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Futuristic Dreamer

    90% of all statistics can be made to say anything (at least 50% of the time ;).

    Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

    by surfbird007 on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:49:50 PM PDT

  •  As a "quant", I have come misgivings about... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, bigchin, dorkenergy

    ...your analysis.

    For example, you show a comparison between enthusiasm percentage and the gross number of votes. That is an apples/oranges comparison. A much more valid and revealing comparison would be between enthusiasm percentage and the percentage of votes.

    You are engaging in the very practices that you are decrying: using junk statistics to "prove" your point.

    Please omit the graphs comparing enthusiasm percentage versus gross votes cast and replace them with graphs comparing enthusiasm percentage versus percentage of votes cast.

    This Space For Rent

    by xynz on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 03:58:08 PM PDT

    •  Not sure that's possible, per se: (0+ / 0-)

      We have only yearly approximations of party registration, so I'd have to fudge the numbers in order to come up with voting percentages for each party - on the other hand, enthusiasm is quantified by the polls, and popular vote is concrete.  It's not ideal, especially when you factor in the people who cross party lines, but it gives us a reasonably good portrait of how many votes the Democrats have pulled in years where they've had high and low enthusiasm numbers.  So I totally get what you're saying, but I don't know where I'd get those numbers from.

      Plus, I'm not sure I'm actually using those graphs to argue for a correlation: the only thing I say about them is related to the enthusiasm, not the popular vote.  I included popular vote because I thought it was interesting to see how the votes actually came out in the end.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 12:25:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thinking this through, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigchin

      I can explain a little better why I chose this method, and what a possible solution to 'fix' the graphs may be.  You're right that mixing percentages and gross numbers doesn't gibe.  But I don't think using percentage of votes cast would work either.

      Here's a hypothetical: take two data sets.  In both, Democrats have 50% enthusiasm, but Republicans move from 30% to 70%.  Assuming equal numbers of voters (they aren't) and a direct correlation between enthusiasm and voting pattern (there isn't), you'd end up with a graph that, on one hand, shows no movement in Democratic enthusiasm, but on the other hand, shows Democrats winning with 62.5% of the vote then losing with 41.7% of the vote.  This despite the same number of voters in both sets.  The graph would be fundamentally useless: it tells us nothing, and it has no predictive power.  If I'm arguing that enthusiasm hasn't dropped among Democrats, there's no reason for me to be including numbers that rely on Republican votes cast.

      Raw number of votes in millions is considerably better, but it'd be greatly improved if I turned it into a percentage of total population, not votes cast.  We'd still run into the problems I mentioned above (crossing party lines, independent voters, etc.) but it's probably the closest we'd get to a 'solution'.  Does that make sense?

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 03:58:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two slow-healing crises (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, skohayes, blindyone, amk for obama

    The President and the Democratic party are running against two crises that are healing very slowly and may or not be sufficiently healed by November, namely the employment rate and the BP gusher. Both of those crises are largely in the hands of the private sector, who if anyone is paying attention, don't haven't had a good track record for the last few years and who also don't do what they say they're going to do.

    The private sector received tax incentives under Bush and Obama to create jobs, yet their still too petrified to do anything. The government and even unemployed consumers have done more to stimulate the economy than the private sector.

    The Democratic-controlled government can't make the private sector hire and expand. And it can't make BP plug the hole faster. This is simply going to be a waiting game to see how these two issues will play out in the weeks leading up to the November election.

     

    •  Guantanamo, torture, rendition and Obama's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Massman

      willingness to defend and embrace the worst of Bush's policies is the 10,000 pound gorilla in the room dems are avoiding at all costs. I suppose it is going to be a huge surprise when the repugs use it successfully to whip up on the dems in the coming elections.

      If "we can", why didn't we?

      by NCIndy on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:56:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's fight to get our 60 Senators back - but (3+ / 0-)

    this time let's not take any seat for granted (i.e. Kennedy) and make sure any replacements will fight hard to win rather than take extended vacations in the middle of the campaign!

  •  i'm not particularly enthusiastic, but here's the (7+ / 0-)

    thing - i vote. i always vote, enthusiastically or not. & i never vote republican.

    Everybody takes me too seriously. Nobody believes anything I say. - Philip Whalen, The Madness of Saul

    by rasbobbo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 05:09:54 PM PDT

    •  So no matter how bad the dems lie (0+ / 0-)

      they will have your vote?

      No wonder we don't get "change". They plan on voters fear of another republican administration and use it against us to do as little as possible.

      If the dems don't deliver they should not get our votes!

      If "we can", why didn't we?

      by NCIndy on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:52:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, what i said is "i never vote republican." (3+ / 0-)

        if you have a case to make for voting republican, make it.

        Everybody takes me too seriously. Nobody believes anything I say. - Philip Whalen, The Madness of Saul

        by rasbobbo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:34:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you never vote republican (0+ / 0-)

          but you always vote.

          So I would be wrong in assuming the dems have your vote no matter what they do?

          I'm not advocating voting for republicans I just don't understand how anything is ever going to "change" if the dems know they can do anything and still get the votes they need.

          If they aren't pressed they will do what is easy for them and not what is best for us.

          If "we can", why didn't we?

          by NCIndy on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:42:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i think i voted for the green candidate for (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pico, skohayes, Futuristic Dreamer

            county attorney last time, but yeah, the dems have the "lesser of two evils" thing working for them. i would happily vote for bernie sanders (not a democrat), but i'm going to have to settle for voting against john mccain.

            Everybody takes me too seriously. Nobody believes anything I say. - Philip Whalen, The Madness of Saul

            by rasbobbo on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 08:43:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for being a responsible adult. (0+ / 0-)

      That's what sane people people who care and aren't a-holes do.  A-holes and crazy people vote Republican, and people don't care or are irresponsible don't vote.

      Every responsible intelligent adult does the same thing you do, and anyone one this blog who can't say the same is a troll or an idiot.  There is no excuse for not voting or voting Republican.

      "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

      by Futuristic Dreamer on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 10:15:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two more points (3+ / 0-)
    1. Republicans bled registered voters like a sucking chest wound for month upon month after Obama's inauguration. Literally millions left, and very few went back. They don't get counted in the enthusiasm polls -- by definition! If they were counted, Republican enthusiasm would not look nearly so good.
    1. Enthusiasm gap doesn't translate linearly into either votes or seats; a lot of the newly-enthused tend to be concentrated in districts that were already heavily blue or red. (This is why its extremely rare for a states or district to flip wildly flip from +10 to -10 in a single election cycle.)

    What could BPossibly go wrong?? -RLMiller

    by nosleep4u on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 05:11:15 PM PDT

  •  The fact the Angle is leading Reid in Nevada, (0+ / 0-)

    after Reid (as senate majority leader) was able to get the votes for that massively historic HCR tells us all we need to know.

  •  Jobs numbers are the most important poll numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin

    They don't lie.

    What do they say?

  •  "Demoralized" or fund raising diaries (2+ / 0-)

    I notice the recent "demoralized" diary and the other anti-Obama "I speak for the base" diaries are also asking for money to support their little political group. They seek to split progressives and dkos into factions in order to get one side to give them money.

    I suggest the easy way to stop that shit is simple... don't recc them so they'll just fade away.

  •  Thanks pico. Very nice analysis. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terri, pico

    Well articulated.

    BP - Proving Oil and Water do mix.
    A Presidency Among the Vuvuzelas.
    Left's "disgruntleist" faction needs to take a chill pill.

    by amk for obama on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:38:35 PM PDT

  •  The primary turnout and voter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Futuristic Dreamer

    registration numbers are also very telling.  If we win 40% of the independents and have a modest increase in turnout than expected, we win.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 06:51:06 PM PDT

    •  That'll be the toughest part: the independents. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not too optimistic about winning 40% over, but you're right that everything may hinge on them.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 12:18:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fuck it. You're right. (0+ / 0-)

    It's all in our imagination. Obama is the President and everything is fucking A-OK. Nobody is suffering , nobody feels betrayed. It's all just a bunch of doom and gloomers on the intertubes. Happy day are here again. All we have to do is believe in tinkerbell.

    •  A gibe is not a rebuttal. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      As I said in the diary, I'm happy to discuss disagreements, but I can't do that if you're not offering me anything concrete other than opinions.  The sarcasm is also unnecessary, especially since nowhere in the diary do I say things are "A-OK".  

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 04:03:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Facts drive action. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico

    I really appreciate this analysis; I learned from it.

    Still, even if this was to be expected, the fact remains that there is a serious enthusiasm gap, and that midterm elections are based on turnout. I still think it's both honest and a very good idea to point to the enthusiasm gap and remind the Democratic majority that the way to win is to get things ACCOMPLISHED for us, their base.

    Starting, by the way, with filibuster reform. Because that's the key to the rest of the agenda - climate, jobs, immigration, even supreme court term limits (with temporary court-packing if Thomas &c don't go voluntarily when their numbers come up).

    Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

    by homunq on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 07:05:22 PM PDT

  •  I am truly sorry but I continue to be (5+ / 0-)

    bored and amused by all of the hysterics surrounding a Democratic blood bath in November.

    I truly appreciate the efforts of those that write the doom and gloom diaries and those who counter them.  I read all of dairies.  I rec some and don't rec others.

    Democrats that live in hard core red states have different perspectives than those, perhaps, that live in traditional blue states.

    I live in Houston Texas and maybe that is why I share a different perspective.  The representation we have here is mostly Republican of the worst variety imagined and many folks are beginning to wake up to smell the rotten coffee.  

    The shifting demographics are significant for Dems in the long term.  The Texas GOP has totally turned off the Hispanic population as well as the African Americans with the GOP's not so subtle racism.

    The demographics of Houston represent the future of the U.S. population in the long term.

    A Democratic and former mayor of one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., in Texas, has a fighting chance at beating Governor Rick Good Hair Perry.

    I mean, I cannot help but feel hopeful and optimistic.

    Also, the MSM seems to ignore the fact that a civil war has been taking place within the GOP. Moderates don't like teabaggers and teabaggers think the moderates are liberal sell outs.  But hell, who would have guessed given the state of the national mainstream media and its tools for pollsters.    

  •  There is no difference.... (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats and Republicans with a frighteningly few exceptions are the SAME. I'm done. Green. Blue. ME. That's who I'm voting for. Screw em' all.

  •  Republican voter enthusiasm is high... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico

    but not for Republican candidates.

    Month by month. (Hope to see you on Twitter)

    by Muskegon Critic on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 08:11:17 PM PDT

  •  JHFC, just look around you. (0+ / 0-)

    You don't need this kind of half assed, cherry picked numbers analysis to know that half the base is demoralized and lacking enthusiasm.  The fucking pie fight in every damn diary is all the damn proof anyone should fucking need.

    Base, schmase.  What wins elections for Democrats is getting Progressives to believe that Democrats will fight and vote for Progressive causes.  Progressives don't believe in or trust the Democrats or this Democratic administration, and they are going to go out and get crushed come November.

    •  The Daily Kos is not the Democratic base- (7+ / 0-)

      the Daily Kos is not even representative of most voters in this country in terms of gender, education, wealth and politics.

      The Daily Kos is still a nice smart group of people to hang around and discuss politics with. Just don't lose touch with reality.

      Why can't they say that hate is 10 zillion light years away- Stevie Wonder

      by blindyone on Sat Jul 03, 2010 at 09:58:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're assuming (0+ / 0-)

      that progressives are the base, they're only part of the base.
      The base is comprised of people that get out and vote at every election, regardless of enthusiasm.
      Why would Democrats as a whole support progressive policies, when after less than two years, many progressives are threatening to stay home? Why pander to people who won't stick by you?

      How come the dove get to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 04:55:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If one could point out that in 2004, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, skohayes, isabelle hayes

    Democratic enthusiasm was much higher, especially at this point in the cycle.  Didn't do us that much good.

    This is an off-year, meaning that while national issues continue to matter (and to form the basis of "enthusiasm" and generic preferences), local issues and personalities/candidates have a greater impact than in Presidential years.

    Are we in trouble?  That will depend on the individual race, I suspect.

    Is there something to fight for?  You betcha.  The very real chance of revising Senate rules and limiting holds and filibusters is, while arcane, perhaps the most important issue out there.  With a Senate that works, there is a better chance to modify all the reform bills that have passed in this session, and to move forward on other fronts as well.

    If war is human nature, why are so many soldiers psychologically broken by it?

    by oxon on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 04:24:44 AM PDT

    •   Not surprisingly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, oxon

      Republican enthusiasm was quite high right before the election in 2004- 57% Dem, lean Dem versus 70% Rep, lean Rep. I certainly wasn't enthusiastic about voting for Kerry, I can tell you that.

      http://www.gallup.com/...

      (The chart I'm referring to is about halfway down the page)

      How come the dove get to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 05:00:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I wasn't clear. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pico, skohayes

        In May and June, pre-swiftboating, our enthusiasm was much higher, and beltway wisdom had the president in trouble.  

        By election day, of course, and as you rightly point out, republicans had more than recovered.

        I'm arguing, however feebly, that an enthusiasm advantage this far out is not determinative.  As in 2004 there are many, many things that may affect it before November.

        If war is human nature, why are so many soldiers psychologically broken by it?

        by oxon on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 06:00:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  PS That was my fave Jack Handey! nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        If war is human nature, why are so many soldiers psychologically broken by it?

        by oxon on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 06:00:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was in a diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oxon

          where the diarist was being (snarkily) praised for having deep thoughts, so I had to look up and post a Handey quote. This one cracked me up, and I needed a new sig!

          How come the dove get to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

          by skohayes on Sun Jul 04, 2010 at 08:30:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Meteor Blades, claude, Ottoe, JekyllnHyde, fladem, Angie in WA State, buffalo soldier, citizen k, Chris Andersen, homunq, nolalily, teacherken, Dounia, Christin, Gooserock, Pandora, TrueBlueMajority, mem from somerville, Arnie, Andrew C White, mlharges, goatchowder, kpardue, DCCyclone, eeff, Newsie8200, bethcf4p, bumblebums, expatjourno, bronte17, missLotus, I am Spartacus, cardinal, litho, Wee Mama, anotherCt Dem, Cassandra77, nyceve, understandinglife, srkp23, Agathena, jaysunb, mindoca, gayntom, Larry Bailey, Boston to Salem, superba, dchill, fumie, Glinda, Cedwyn, wader, Tomtech, AZDem, edrie, hhex65, hangingchad, TexDem, missliberties, Chicago Lulu, ranger995, casperr, brainwave, Lawrence, laderrick, ccr4nine, jaywillie, ohiolibrarian, Catte Nappe, liberte, arielle, Timbuk3, Democratic Hawk, PerfectStormer, ybruti, Curt Matlock, Kitsap River, mungley, skywalker, KayCeSF, Vicky, tomjones, Marianne Benz, ganymeade, Sybil Liberty, thereisnospoon, sebastianguy99, Limelite, Frank Vyan Walton, TexMex, vcmvo2, Kewalo, alaprst, CTPatriot, Lying eyes, Erik the Red, KnotIookin, BCO gal, grimjc, claytonben, kefauver, Gary Norton, reflectionsv37, lennysfo, owlbear1, cfk, majcmb1, Sun Tzu, aaraujo, Inland, Burned, quaoar, Little Lulu, blue jersey mom, libbie, onanyes, deep, SBandini, nyseer, Tunk, Geekesque, Savvy813, CWalter, Ginny in CO, Jay Elias, turnover, northanger, Pluto, bookwoman, peacestpete, JanF, Alan Arizona, fhcec, bently, noweasels, begone, reddbierd, forbodyandmind, Whimsical, Showman, sideboth, Sanuk, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, edwardssl, plum, tobendaro, Kimball Cross, mr crabby, cookseytalbott, smokeymonkey, Wary, fou, kck, TalkieToaster, Ashaman, gpoutney, nonnie9999, Libby Shaw, plf515, Unitary Moonbat, doinaheckuvanutjob, lazybum, Mindtrain, blueoregon, zedaker, revgerry, Hedwig, blueintheface, Oothoon, Nulwee, AntKat, BentLiberal, donnamarie, jessical, Haningchadus14, dmh44, camlbacker, mamabigdog, WeBetterWinThisTime, psychodrew, FishOutofWater, la urracca, jeanette0605, noofsh, Jimdotz, deepeco, joyful, kingyouth, Seneca Doane, Templar, vbdietz, RokkiBlueboa, yella dawg, Got a Grip, JML9999, cacamp, Bikemom, vet, oxon, chicago minx, bkamr, revm3up, glutz78, DraftChickenHawks, MikePhoenix, scooter in brooklyn, elwior, skohayes, CDH in Brooklyn, blindyone, CT Voter, Mother of Zeus, KJG52, willipr, royce, pamelabrown, geomoo, Jake Williams, Dean Barker, Gemina13, a night owl, Abe Frohman, Danise94, Futuristic Dreamer, Diogenes2008, jlms qkw, oldliberal, maggiejean, Sun dog, in2mixin, Fonsia, Rick Aucoin, RNinOR, angeleyes, LeftOfYou, pvlb, ScientistSteve, Zotz, velvet blasphemy, DefendOurConstitution, lookit, followyourbliss, manucpa, worldly1, dskoe, MKSinSA, badger1968, Leslie in KY, sanglug, allep10, IreGyre, KenInCO, sfarkash, 57andFemale, maxzj05, Integrity is fundamental, mahakali overdrive, Dragon5616, Livvy5, Tommymac, Leftcandid, French Imp, Larsstephens, ETF, dtruth, Culebrito Blanco, chambord, smileycreek, raf, foufou, marabout40, drache, stegro, roadbear, dorkenergy, Commoditize This, jstipich, Observerinvancouver, amk for obama, whisperinghope, boriquasi, CS in AZ, VickiL, trixied13, legalchic, ATFILLINOIS, jovie131, gulfgal98, ItsSimpleSimon, NYWheeler, sharonsz, nickrud, damned if you do, abrauer, Vik in FL, science nerd, nosleep4u, dwayne, farrelad, JanG, TheHalfrican, indubitably, theKgirls, Onomastic, CornSyrupAwareness, TAH from SLC, kerflooey, I love OCD, spiraldancer8, Valerie8435, ban nock, slowbutsure, kirbybruno, La Gitane, BlueJessamine, Eclectablog, Teknocore, PAJ in Ohio, BlueHead, yakimagrama, A Bleeding God, Lorikeet, Cinnamon Rollover, Muskegon Critic, dle2GA, tfs1150, BarackStarObama, sofa turf, tardis10, LSmith, MRA NY, whoknu, IL JimP, pensivelady, Safina, ViralDem, mali muso, MinistryOfTruth, Imhotepsings, Deva Royal, blackwaterdog, SoCalSal, SteelerGrrl, RLMiller, StepLeftStepForward, StratCat, ParkRanger, MichaelNY, Dom9000, AnnetteK, Han Shot First, lightshine, QES, RhodaA, Aji, delmardougster, AnnieR, AreDeutz

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site