Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pew poll: Republicans weak heading into election season, Bush and corruption weaken Rs

Bush a Drag on Republican Midterm Prospects. A majority of Americans would prefer to vote for a Democrat (50% choose a Dem in the generic House race, 41% go R). In 1994, 23% of voters saw their vote as a vote against the President, now that number is 31%. Independents favor Democrats in the generic ballot, and also tend to think of their vote as a vote against Bush. Independents also back Democrats on the issues, especially corruption.

Independents are as unlikely as Democrats to think the corruption is a Democratic scandal, and 29% of Independents say it's only a Republican scandal.

There is also strong support for "major changes" or even a "complete rebuilding" of the health care system. The legal system is at the bottom of the list of things needing changes, despite years of Republican attacks on the civil justice system. There's barely more support for "major changes" to Social Security than for reforming the legal system.

All of this leaves openings for Democrats to put together a national campaign. Whether they'll capitalize on the opportunity remains to be seen. It's worth noting that Independents see no strong leaders in either party, and the public views both parties unfavorably.