Media poll results are revealing a pattern of voters in our mid-term election that are mad and motivated to send a message.
CNN's website featured a story on Tuesday the 28th headlined "Voters are angry." The poll revealed about 7 out of 10 Americans "are angry at the direction the country is heading, and 53 percent of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance." This may explain why some Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate won't even say whether they voted for the president.
CNN's poll revealed that 36 percent of Republican voters are "extremely enthusiastic" or "very enthusiastic" about casting a vote. In contrast, only 26 percent of Democrats use such descriptions for their motivation level. In the last two presidential elections the president's party has been highly effective in getting out his base vote. That trend may well reverse itself this year.
The article related that only 42 percent of respondents agreed with Obama on issues that mattered most to them. Those disagreeing with the president on those top issues totaled 55 percent of responders.
The report acknowledges there being "no surprise that Obama has purposely stayed away from campaigning for Senate candidates in difficult contests."
ABC's Good Morning America show also ran a story on the polling woes for Democrats on Tuesday. John Karl shared that their poll revealed that two-thirds of Americans believe we are on the wrong track. Karl further revealed that 60 percent of those polled "have little or no trust in the federal government to do what's right." The reporter then shared what could be even worse news for a Democratic candidate for Senate in a swing state, sayig 63 percent of folks thought the capability of the government to address people's problems has gotten worse since Obama has been president.
The Washington Post covered similar polling themes in a story by Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill on Tuesday. The headline was "Poll: Midterm momentum belongs to GOP."
Balz and Peyton describe a "pervasive sense of a country in trouble." The story revealed overwhelming majorities who say the country is badly off track with negative economic expectations.
The Post story also noted the president's absence from truly competitive Senate contests, observing that incumbent Democrats in such states "are seeking to put distance between themselves and the president, despite voting records strongly supporting the White House."
What might all this mean for Maryland? We have no U.S. Senate race this year, but changing party control of the Senate would be a major shift in how business is conducted in Washington.
Under Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, the Senate has failed to allow votes on a number of bills passed by the GOP-led House of Representatives. What would Obama do if these bills start landing on his desk?
Would the president start piling up vetoes of such bills? Would swing state Democratic senators feel pressured to vote to override such vetoes in light of the lack of public support for the president?
We do have House of Representative races on the ballot this year. In theory, a wave election could impact the outcome in some of those races. However, Maryland's district map for the House is so thoroughly gerrymandered that it would take an awfully big wave to take down an incumbent Democratic representative.
Some of our contests in Maryland may be close, such as Governor. Make sure your voice is heard by voting for the candidates who mostly closely reflect your views.
Michael Zimmer writes from Eldersburg. His column appears on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.