In the New York Times op-ed piece today, ‘A Win is a Win,’ we highlight some very big changes. Yes, there has been some movement on health care – before the vote – but more dramatic is the pull back from Republican members of Congress and their party, as voters watch the scene evolving in Washington. Independent voters who did not approve of Democratic governance over the past year seemed to be re-assessing their feelings about the different players.
This pullback is very specific to the Republicans – and does not represent any gain for Democrats or any confidence gain in their direction. Health care’s passage could change perceptions in very important ways, though it is too early to tell. Over the long term, it could be a ‘game-changer.’ But for now, the economy is a bigger driver. Less and less people believe the country is on the right track, or that the economy is getting better or benefiting them – and Democrats have lost serious ground on whom you trust to handle the economy. This poll showed the Democrats’ advantage in party identification drop to just 2 points, and narrowing further to no advantage once independent-lean voters are allocated. This makes it all the more believable, then, that ‘something is happening’ to perceptions of the Republicans.