According to a new Gallup poll the anti-incumbent wave that swept Democrats out in 2010 is looking to do the same to Republicans in 2012.
The latest USA Today/Gallup poll has found that only 28% of respondents believe that most of Congress deserves to be reelected in 2012. After the killing of Bin Laden congressional approval reached a high water mark of 24%, but since the Republican midterm victories in 2010, congressional approval has been around 20%. 69% of Independents, 64% of Republicans, and 56% of Democrats believe that current congressional incumbents do not deserve reelection.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that their own representative deserves another term, but a bad sign for House Republicans is that Independents are the voters who are most likely to throw an incumbent out. Independents tend not to vote in midterm elections, but do show up in droves during presidential years.
House Republicans are in big trouble here. John Boehner’s leadership has been a complete disaster. Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare has put a noose around the neck of every House Republican that voted for it. In March, a survey found that voters in the top 50 swing districts where Republicans won House seats in 2010 said that they would not vote to reelect the Republican incumbent.
The same wave of voter disgruntlement that undid Democrats in 2010 is poised to take out the GOP in 2012. The economy is still bad, but this time it is going to be Republican incumbents who will pay the price. House GOP incumbents have not helped their cause by ignoring the economy and jobs and pursing an agenda that varies between jihads against the social safety net and reviving the culture wars.
The deck is looking stacked against the GOP in 2012. House Republicans will be forced to run for reelection with Obama on the ballot, they will be outspent by Democrats, will have a weak nominee at the top of their ticket, and they will be facing an electorate that will be much bigger and different from the one that elected them in 2010.
Elections are often won and lost based on one vote or phrase, and when Republicans voted to privatize Medicare they probably lost the House of Representatives.
A Democratic wave is building for 2012, and there aren’t enough tea bags in the world to stop it.