It seems every election finds political pundits trying to come up with a shorthand description for the latest bloc of voters to exercise undue influence in the current year's races.
In 2000, "soccer moms" were the group du jour, and enough of them were disgusted with the Clinton scandals that they cost Al Gore the White House. In 2004, it was "security moms," who in a post-9/11 world were concerned about terrorism and the safety of their children. In 2008, a video featuring "Obama Girl" captured the enthusiasm the Democratic candidate generated among young voters.
This year, the hands-down winner for the key voting bloc might be called "Tea Party Supporter." Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, reports a major reason Republicans are poised to make major gains this year is that they "are cleaning up with a voting bloc that accounts for 26% of the country and could end up being the most important group of people at the polls this fall: voters who hate both congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans."
While these voters, who are mostly white and mostly male, harbor no loyalty to either party, this year they are much more upset with the Democrats who hold power in the White House and Congress. "The GOP has a 57-19 generic lead with this group of voters that could perhaps be described as the angriest segment of the electorate," reports PPP. "Their support is fueling the GOP's success right now."
The party-affiliation breakdown of the "pox on all politicians" segment is fascinating. Only 44% are Republicans, while 34% are independents and 21% are Democrats. That breakdown roughly mirrors the profile of people who in other polls identify themselves as Tea Party supporters. Interestingly, however, PPP finds that only about 35% of the "angriest segment" actually call themselves Tea Partiers. That's compared to about 25% of voters in the electorate as a whole who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters.
-- John Fund
The Wall Street Journal, Political Diary Online
Tuesday, 27 July 10