Dave Cook, Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 16, 2009
A new Battleground Poll shows that “voters tend to describe themselves as angry, pessimistic, anxious, and depressed,” says Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, a political strategy firm that works for Democratic candidates.
Ms. Lake and Republican pollster Ed Goeas jointly oversee the Battleground Poll.
“Whatever mood the voters are in right now, they are likely to be in a particularly ornery mood toward every elected official by January,” Lake says. “And one of the more interesting places they may take this out is less at the federal election [level] and more at the governorships. You may see a record number of governorships change party.”
Democrats in trouble?
With Democrats holding control of both houses of Congress, angry voters could spell trouble for the party in 2010 elections, argues Mr. Goeas, CEO of the Tarrance Group.
“There is a potential for  being a 1994 year of the angry white male,” Goeas says. That year, Democrats lost 54 seats and Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
Republican pollster Goeas thinks voters will focus more and more on the issue of federal spending as the economy improves. “The good news for Republicans is we lead” on who voters trust to handle wasteful spending by 44 to 32 percent, he says.
Goeas also notes that a second wave of voter concern on taxes normally follows a focus on spending. And Republicans also lead on the issue of holding down taxes.
The Tea Party threat
A new Rasmussen Poll found Tea Party candidates outpaced Republicans 23 percent to 18 percent in a generic congressional race. Goeas noted that the polling method used in getting this result tends to over count voters with especially intense feelings.
The Tea Party is “a very vocal group out there that have a very good point in terms of what is happening . . . but at the end of the day they are going to have to choose between who is the enemy,” Goeas says. “My advice has been . . . ‘We agree with you, hey let’s go get ’em’ as opposed to trying to control them, trying to lead them, trying to be part of them. At the end of the day, it is going to come down to a choice between two” main parties.