The change in attitude towards the November midterms is breathtaking, according to the latest poll by Pew Research. Last October when Pew asked “If the elections were held today, would you vote for/lean toward the Republican candidate or the Democrat candidate for Congress in your district?”, 49 percent of those polled favored the Democrat, while just 43 percent favored the Republican. In less than six months, just 43 percent now favor the Democrat while 47 percent favor the Republican.
The shift, according to Pew, reflects dissatisfaction on a number of fronts, including the direction of the country, downbeat views on the economy, great and continuing skepticism over ObamaCare coupled with the President’s languishing job approval ratings.
The survey found that 43 percent of those surveyed think Republican economic policies would “do more to strengthen the economy” than following the current policies of the Obama administration. When asked about the 2016 presidential election, two-out-of-three of those polled want the new president “to pursue different policies and programs” from the Obama administration.
At present Republicans hold 233 of the 435 seats in the House and 45 of the 100 seats in the Senate. Pew says that the current polling bodes ill for the Democrats as the four-point difference is greater than at any time in the last twenty years. In 1994 when the GOP regained control of both the House and Senate, it had just a 2-point advantage in the Pew poll, while in 2010, when Republicans again gained control of the House, the Pew poll was even. The four point spread is “huge”, according to former Virginia congressman Tom Davis who twice chaired the Republican congressional campaign committee, and may be enough, he says, for the GOP to recapture the Senate while strengthening its majority in the House.
The poll shows dissatisfaction across the board. By more than 2-to-1 those polled view the economy as poor, unchanged from a year ago, while 23 percent rate their personal financial situation as poor. Another 39 percent rate their finances as “only fair,” five years into the alleged recovery from the Great Recession.
Support for ObamaCare, even after it appears to have moved past the flawed rollout and has enrolled some 8 million citizens in the mandate, continues to languish, with just 41 percent approving and 55 percent disapproving.
The Democrats have an uphill fight among young voters as well. According to a poll just released by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, fewer than one in every four young people between ages 18 and 29 will “definitely be voting” this fall, down an astonishing 11 percent from last fall. In addition, according to that survey, “There seems to be more enthusiasm for midterm voting among traditional Republican constituencies than Democratic ones.”
Buried in the press release announcing this poll, however, was a bright ray of light. According to the institute’s polling director John Della,
It’s been clear for some time now that young people are growing more disillusioned and disconnected from Washington. There’s an erosion of trust in the individuals and institutions that make government work — and now we see the lowest level of interest in any election we’ve measured since 2000.
But then he added:
Young people still care about our country, but we will likely see more volunteerism than voting in 2014.
For decades voters have labored under the illusion that there is a substantial difference between the two political parties, and that therefore voting Republican (or Democrat) will really make a difference. During those decades there has been precious little change in direction despite such efforts.
This was predicted long before many of the country’s present voters were even born. In 1966 an establishment professor came in from the cold to expose the machinations of what he called the Anglo-American establishment, led by the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). From his ground-breaking revelation, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, Georgetown University professor Carroll Quigley rocked the world with this:
The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers.
Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy…
Either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.
Said Quigley of the CFR:
The Council of Foreign Relations is the American branch of a society which originated in England [and] believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established.
With rare exceptions, the CFR has controlled, at the national level, the candidates of both parties. That message, however, has been slow in getting out to the voters themselves, until recently. That’s why it is encouraging to see Pew acknowledge that, for more and more young people, becoming active locally by volunteering is better than wasting energy on national elections.
Regardless whether the Republicans extend their present majority in the House while gaining control of the Senate in the November midterm elections, or not, what is vastly more important is the recognition that the freedom fight is most successfully fought on the local level. That young people are recognizing that is the most encouraging result from these latest polls.