The Battle for Congress: The Hearts and Minds of Voters

Today is a big day in the national journey of who will lead us the next 2 years. Primary day in Colorado and Connecticut will determine some important races. CD 7 in Colorado is a 3 way contest to determine the Democratic candidate. Ed Perlmutter is the likely winner and should be a good legislator for the Dems. Leiberman and Lamont will finally get past the only vote that counts today for Connecticut’s Senate seat. In my mind, the results of these races are not as significant as turnout. At this point, Dems who don’t show up to vote are a huge concern. WaPo has yet another poll showing House incumbents at risk on how disatisfied voters are with their OWN incumbents – even while Bush has brought his approval rating up to 40%. (Summer heat affecting attention and thinking?)

Most Americans describe themselves as being in an anti-incumbent mood heading into this fall’s midterm congressional elections, and the percentage of people who approve of their own representative’s performance is at the lowest level since 1994, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

“That’s dramatic,” said Republican consultant Ed Rollins, who was White House political director under President Ronald Reagan.

Especially worrisome for members of Congress is that the proportion of Americans who approve of their own representative’s performance has fallen sharply. Traditionally, voters may express disapproval of Congress as a whole but still vote for their own member, even from the majority party.

Eighty-one percent of Democrats say the war was not worth fighting, and 70 percent feel that way “strongly.” A majority of Democrats, 54 percent, say a candidate endorsing Bush’s Iraq policy would be less likely to get their vote, compared with 37 percent for whom it would not make much difference.

If 81% of Democrats know the war was not worth fighting, they have to walk their talk to the voting bo0ths. They also need to start walking and talking for the Democratic Candidates and party.

At the same time, the poll’s findings underline the challenge for Democrats. For all their disenchantment, most voters are not sure what the party stands for. Just 48 percent say Democrats offer a clear direction different from Republicans, while 47 percent say they do not. Even a slight majority of Democrats say their party does not have an Iraq strategy.

The survey suggests that it is not just Republicans whose incumbents are in jeopardy. But it includes one important caveat — as of now, few Republicans or Democrats plan to stray from their parties in November. The Democrats’ lead stems from a big advantage among independents.

We have just 3 months until election day. Given the position of the hearts and minds of voters, Democrats need to get out with the messages of what our direction is, what our plans are and what our values are. The fact that even a majority of Democrats don’t think we have an Iraq strategy is due to the lack of reasonable reporting by the mainstream media. There can be no slack on this campaign. The better the vote, the louder and stronger the message to BushCo: ‘The country is no longer with you, change course’ – especially if the GOP wants anything more than right wing prayers for a chance at the White House in ’08.

I have a bumper sticker that reads: Get Involved The world is run by those who SHOW UP

It’s time for Democrats to show up at the voting booths, at the candidates campaign headquarters and their neighbors’ doorsteps.

Bookmark and Share

Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Battle for Congress: The Hearts and Minds of Voters

  1. battlebob says:

    This is another criminal action in a long list of criminal actions.
    Tax cuts yes.. brain injury care for wounded vets no.

    Center for war-related brain injuries faces budget cut
    Posted 8/8/2006 10:01 PM ET

    By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

    The Brain Injury Center, devoted to treating and understanding war-related brain injuries, has received more money each year of the war — from $6.5 million in fiscal 2001 to $14 million last year. Spokespersons for the appropriations committees in both chambers say cuts were due to a tight budget this year.

    “Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities,” says Jenny Manley, spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee. “They didn’t have any flexibility in such a tight fiscal year.”

  2. battlebob says:

    Other hearts and minds are grappling with the issue.,,1838437,00.html

    As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force’s actions might be considered ‘war crimes’.