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May 18, 2009

Gallup: Party Identification All Tied Up

Hmmm. For the first time since 2005.

I think there are two parts comprising party preference: ideology and the estimate of how effective that party is at actual governance. The two are interrelated and bleed into each other -- partisans always think their guy is doin' great; and someone good at management and governance will attract some independents to his party's flag -- but are mostly separate.

The GOP lost big-time the last two cycles on the governance question. Obama was not elected due to his ideology (which he obscured in favor of gauzy rhetoric) but mostly due to the public's dissatisfaction with GOP governance.

Obama currently still enjoys the public's estimation of a good manager, although mostly that is due to their just giving him a fair chance, and to the comparison with Bush and the GOP Congresses until 2006.

So I think people are starting to move back towards identifying themselves as Republican as they realize 1) ideology really does matter; skill at governance is nice and all, but not if that skill is used towards driving American economics into ruinous socialism; and 2) Obama and the Democrats really aren't covering themselves with glory on the "effective management" front, either.

In the past they could always postulate that they would be better stewards if only they had the chance. Well, they have the chance now, and they're not doing so well. The public still might not be enthusiastic about a GOP return to power, but they seem to have wised up that the guys they tossed out of office in 1994 are the same idiots they've just installed as leaders of Congress in 2006 and 2008.

It will take a bit more to fully erase the Democrats' reputation as the "at least they can make the trains run on time" party. Indeed, in the past, that was not their reputation at all. They only enjoy this advantage due to GOP fecklessness.

But give them time. They are doing everything in their power to make Republicans look good.

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posted by Ace at 07:36 PM

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