Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
As someone who has reviewed in great detail countless issues polls over many years, this latest poll comes as no surprise to me. It merely affirms what has been true for many years – the United States is not a center-right country.
Wa-whaaaat? "But the media villagers and Beltway bloviators constantly tell us that the United States is a center-right country. How can this be?" I hate to break it to you but they are either paid mouthpieces or liars or fools – or a combination of all three. And the next time you hear this center-right country myth spoken, you should call them out on it.
Daily Kos has the breakdown of the most recent Gallup poll. Daily Kos: Gallup: Only 5 Republican states:
Gallup tallied up its responses, took a look at political self-identification, and painted the map. A "solid" lead is one of 10 points or higher. A "leaning" lead is between 5-10 points. Anything tighter is "competitive."
Only four states are solidly red: The Land of Palin, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. [Part of the Mormon Corridor]
Mississippi leaned Red. [So much for the "Solid South" old Confederacy.]
On the other hand, there are 23 solidly Democratic states, and another 10 are leaning Democratic. (Plus DC.)
Of the 12 states that are competitive, six lean slightly GOP, the other six lean slightly Dem.
Solid Dem Lean Dem Edge Dem Edge GOP Lean GOP Solid GOP
AR CO AZ KS MS AK
CA FL GA MI ID
CT IN LA MS UT
DE KY OK MT WY
HI MO SC NE
IL NV SD ND
Of course, this does't translate directly to electoral politics, with huge swaths of the country preferring the Democrats in theory, but pulling the levels for Republicans. That is as much a failure of Democrats to ensure their core constituencies turn out to the polls (younger and browner voters), and also a testament of the GOP to win votes based on divisive social issues, rather than substantive economic ones. [i.e., "What's the Matter With Kansas?"]
But this flies directly in the face of the notion that this is a "center-right" country. It's not.
Now, none of this means that 2009 was a great year for the Democratic Party. Vis a vis 2008, Democrats lost ground in all but seven states. They were +4 in Nebraska (their biggest gain), +2 in Arizona, +2 in South Dakota, +2 in Utah, and +1 in Kansas, California, and Maryland. They held steady in South Carolina, Idaho, West Virginia, and Tennessee. Beyond that, they lost ground. Other than DC (minus 9, to a still dominant +66), the biggest loss was Ohio, where Democrats lost eight points to a +10 advantage. We all know Ohio isn't the kind of place you want to be losing political ground.
Then again, in a year that was supposed to signify the collapse of the Democratic Party, the losses were marginal in most places. Fact is, Democrats are facing electoral disaster this year simply because of a demoralized base uninterested in turning out to vote. The nation's natural inclination is in support of Democratic policies. If Democrats actually implemented one or two of them while in position of dominant power, we might actually start bringing many of those wayward voters home and into the polls.