Poll: Voters disgusted with both major parties

Wall Street Journal poll by way of The Whig (a blog associated with the Modern Whig Party):

Less than a year after Inauguration Day, support for the Democratic Party continues to slump, amid a difficult economy and a wave of public discontent, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

The survey suggests that public discontent with Mr. Obama and his party is being driven by an unusually grim view of the country’s status and future prospects.
A majority of Americans believe the U.S. is in decline. And a plurality now say the U.S. will be surpassed by China in 20 years as the top power.

But public displeasure with Democrats wasn’t translating directly into warmth for Republicans. Twenty-eight percent of voters expressed positive feelings about the GOP — a number that has remained constant through the Democrats’ decline over the summer and fall. Only 5% said their feelings toward the Republicans were “very positive.”

Still, the survey paints a decidedly gloomy picture for Democrats, who appear to be bearing the brunt of public unease as unemployment has risen from 7.6% to 10% since Mr. Obama took office. Just 35% of voters said they felt positively about the Democratic Party, a 14-point slide since February. Ten percent felt “very positive.”

Democrats’ troubles can be attributed in part to changing feelings among some core supporters. A third of voters 34 and under, a group that turned out heavily for Democrats last year, feel negative toward the Democratic Party. And just 38% of Hispanics feel positive, down sharply from 60% in February.

32 thoughts on “Poll: Voters disgusted with both major parties

  1. Robert Milnes

    The watershed is evidence that a third party high office candidate could actually win. This is why the PLAS Experiment is so important. If even one of the 4 special election candidates wins-let alone all 4- by using the PLA Strategy, voters will strongly reevaluate their votes for dems & reps. paulie.

  2. Robert Milnes

    paulie, you & Tom both suffer from “purist syndrome”. Along with Mary & Susan. Evidently if it isn’t radical anarchist libertarian, it is impure. Unworthy. This is why Gravel lost to Bar-stool last year. & Mary refused vp with Barr. She would’ve refused vp with Gravel too. For purists it is either all or nothing. So, nothing it is. They don’t seem to realize even if they got their ticket, say Ruwart/Kubby or something, THAT ticket has virtually no chance of winning. EVER. Their obstinance forces them into untenable positions.

  3. jason

    But Robert, what you don’t understand is, if we lose that purity, then the party means nothing. We might as well then just join the Democrat or Republican party, since they have such a broad spectrum within their parties. It is our purity and willingness not to compromise that makes us stand out from the two major parties. I respect the “L”ibertarians on this website because they firmly believe in standing up for what they perceive as liberty (though my belief of what is liberty is -strongly- different from theirs). They’re not just going to side with the Greens or any other liberal/progressive party in order to win votes, because they’d have to give up too much of their economic principles.

  4. Mik Robertson

    This past election there was a noticeable weakening of the big political machines in PA. Our candidates won races they likely would not have won in the past. Our statewide candidate performances have been improving over the past few years.

    This is backed up by voter registration changes over the past six months. Overall voter registration is down in PA by 0.8%. The number of people registering as independent are up 2.2% and registering Libertarian are up 2.3% in that time.

    This doesn’t mean the machines don’t still dominate or that they cannot regroup to their former power. Next year will be very telling.

  5. Mik Robertson

    @5 “But Robert, what you don’t understand is, if we lose that purity, then the party means nothing. We might as well then just join the Democrat or Republican party, since they have such a broad spectrum within their parties.”

    I completely disagree. The political machines are much more effective in molding individuals than individuals are in changing the big political machines. In 2006 in Pennsylvania there was voter outrage over a midnight pay raise passed by the state legislature, and a record number of legislators were replaced, with D’s and R’s promising reform voted in.

    Can you guess what happened? Nothing. Absolutely nothing changed. There are still midnight deals getting passed in the legislature. Special favors are still handed out. State workers still help political campaigns on the taxpayer dime, although some are being indicted for that now. The state government continues to grow.

    It is fine and necessary to hold to principles, but the main principle for those in the LP should be to increase Liberty and individual choice while minimizing aggression. Holding to a claim like “all taxation is theft” is not being principled. We need to bring the principles to the political arena, and I think that can be done better as a brad based Libertarian Party than by trying to elect libertarian D’s or R’s.

    @5 ” They’re not just going to side with the Greens or any other liberal/progressive party in order to win votes, because they’d have to give up too much of their economic principles.”

    I think the reluctance is more because a lot of L’s are too busy calling the Greens commies to realize the points they have in common. Similarly, too many Greens are busy calling the L’s fascists and ultra-conservatives to consider where they may work together.

  6. Robert Milnes

    jason, you have stated the situation very well. But the logic has many flaws. The progressives are in a very similar situation as the libertarians, their party being the Green party. Since they will lose the elections, many abandon it from the start, preferring to work within the democratic party. That is how Obama won! Starting with being a liberal then getting the progressive support. Why can’t the libertarians do that? -Without the deliberate scheming, manipulation & hypocracy part though. once having won the presidency & many congressional seats & governorships, they could immediately accomplish what they agree on(Greens & Libertarians) and decide through the political process now dominated by dems & reps on what to do then. & the Greens are going to have to defer their socialism so they have to give up much of their economic principles as well. In other words the dilemma, the impasse, should be broken up by vote coordination in order to win. This would free up BOTH parties. & displace the dems & reps from power.

  7. Brad

    “We need to bring the principles to the political arena, and I think that can be done better as a brad based Libertarian Party than by trying to elect libertarian D’s or R’s. ”

    I agree completely!

  8. Robert Milnes

    A broad based Libertarian party is never going to get more than 13-20% of the vote. This is what Ron Paul was getting & he failed to win a single primary, let alone an election-thank God. The libs need another bloc of voters to win. The logical choice is the progressive vote. That’s what got Obama elected.

  9. jeff

    1.3 million reg third party voters.yes the total number of all the third partys in CALIF .this was the figures in a candidates guide,If we could agree to disagree real ground could be garnered! we need a third party caucas,comprised of as mant third partys that felt that humility,logic .reasoning, and wisdom is real power,knowlege does not equal power! we need a coup!! jamminjeff

  10. Dave Schwab

    “Similarly, too many Greens are busy calling the L’s fascists and ultra-conservatives to consider where they may work together.”

    That hasn’t really been my experience. Most Greens I talk to recognize the value of working with Libertarians on ballot access and issues like that. Also, I think having more Ls and more Gs run for office in the same district could actually be beneficial, because then the media has more trouble applying the ‘spoiler’ label to either one.

  11. Mik Robertson

    @19 “That hasn’t really been my experience. Most Greens I talk to recognize the value of working with Libertarians on ballot access and issues like that.”

    Ballot access issues are pretty easy for cooperation. In PA there is a coalition, primarily LP, GP, and CP, but also with some other input from socialists and others, and they developed an election reform bill that is now in committee in the state legislature. No problem.

    The GP state party chair and me were discussing the possibility of holding a joint convention next year, with separate business sessions but sharing workshops, speaker events, social events etc. It was then that we got to hear the comments I referred to earlier, on both sides. In the end it turned out to be better to put that idea off for some other time.

    Cooperation does not mean nominating the same candidate, or declining to run in a race because there is already a third candidate. It can take many different forms.

  12. Don Lake .......... A Couple More Paul Harvey Moments

    Morgan Brykein // Dec 18, 2009:
    “Yet they will continue to vote for the lesser of two evils …” as some of the ‘Loyal Opposition’ scare tons of rational citizens away, no matter how disgusted with unreasonable armed conflict, funny money system, buddy buddy bail out, ect.

    We have met the enemy and it is the Democans, the Republicrats and us!

  13. paulie Post author

    Mik,

    How about issue coalitions on issues besides ballot access?

    On this other thread

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/12/ralph-nader-dubya-and-obama-are-a-seamless-transition-on-the-war/

    We’re discussing why Ron Paul (and perhps Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin) were not invited to – or perhaps chose not to attend – the anti-escalation rally put on by End US Wars.

    It seems that there is an opening for a new organization on the peace issue that invites everyone who is for peace, regardless of what they believe on other issues.

    Same can be said for many other causes.

  14. Mik Robertson

    @23 True. This could work for any issue provided the membership see value in cooperating. There is no reason an anti-war caucus from any of the alternative parties could not work together, and with Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul on the issue.

  15. Brian Holtz

    In a September IPR comment, Lou Novak (detroitgreens.org) wrote to a Libertarian: “If you’re for the freedom to be unemployed, poor, sick and subject to corporate rule, then you’re not willing to think outside the fascist box.”

    I would never call anybody a “commie”, but I think the Green Party platform is arguably socialist — although Novak apparently disagrees. But as I understand it, the Green Party calls for social control or provision of land, education, retirement savings, health insurance, disability insurance, unemployment insurance, deposit insurance, housing finance, and business finance. The GP also advocates “a fair distribution of income”, “a living wage”, “the social ownership and use of land at the community, local, and regional level”, “allowing municipalities to approve or disapprove large economic projects”, and “a reduced-hour (30-35 hours) work week”. I can’t quite tell if the GP would socialize housing, but it advocates “consolidating housing into such structures as ecolonies, to free open space, and to move about by bicycle, train, bus and on foot so that roadways may be converted to parkland and agriculture.” It also says cryptically: “The concept of a ‘job’ is only a few hundred years old; and the artificial dichotomy between ’employment’ and ‘unemployment’ has become a tool of social leverage for corporate exploiters.”

    That’s what you’re voting for when you vote Green.

    I don’t see how Libertarian Presidential candidate Tom Knapp can say that in 2008 in most states, the candidate running on this platform “was the closest thing to a libertarian presidential candidate on the ballot” — when the LP candidate in those states was explicitly running on the LP platform.

    But I still hold out hope for the Green Party. Notice how little the 10 Key Green Values would have to change to make them green-libertarian: http://earthfreedom.net/green-libertarian-values-diff

  16. Tom Blanton

    I’ve been disgusted with the two major parties for 30 years. I’ve been disgusted with the minor parties since about 2002. Now I’m finding that contempt is replacing the disgust.

    As for politicians and their insipid sycophants, disdain has turned into outright fear and loathing. Humans have nearly a perfect track record of selecting (or tolerating) the worst specimens of the species to be their leaders since the beginning of time.

    You’d think folks would have wised up by now and figured out what government and politicians are all about.

    Let me make a psychic prediction. The more disgusted voters are with the major parties, the more the minor parties will resemble the major parties. If people actually stop voting for major party candidates, their elected office holders will become candidates for the minor parties.

  17. Mik Robertson

    @25 I like the minor revision of the 10 Key Values to be a cross-document. I think that shows there is a lot of potential for cooperation between the GP and LP. I agree there are some Greens who want socialism, but I don’t think that is what the GP is all about.

    On the LPPA discussion forum there was just yesterday an inquiry about free markets and a living wage. The LP should be able to address these issues and environmental issues as well as the Greens. There should be no problems in the LP with local control, in fact it may help to move policy positions on issues like abortion. Same thing with corporate personhood, the LP and the GP should be on the same page.

    I think one difference is that many in the GP see only a society and many in the LP see only individuals. In reality, there is a society made up of individuals, so unless you consider both you are not getting the whole picture.

  18. Don Lake .......... A Couple More Paul Harvey Moments

    Tom Blanton // Dec 18, 2009:
    “I’ve been disgusted with the two major parties for 30 years. I’ve been disgusted with the minor parties since about 2002. Now I’m finding that contempt is replacing the disgust. As for politicians and their insipid sycophants, disdain has turned into outright fear and loathing …… ” [Lake: as in Viet Nam Ace and Congressional criminal ‘Puke’ Cunningham!]

    Lake: I second the emotion ………..

  19. Darcy G Richardson

    I really can’t say I disagree with Tom Blanton.

    The scariest thing to me is that those who are now claiming disgust with the two major parties are the very same folks who put them in power in the first place.

    We’re doomed.

  20. Robert Milnes

    I really like the idea of a joint convention. The sooner the better. Whether it be Greens invite Libs to attend their National Convention & Libs invite Greens OR a third convention consisting of both OR better yet, ALL THREE. One of the main reasons for this would be to increase general turnout & attendance at conventions. The last Green National Convention was poorly attended. But if a lot of Libs attended participating or just auditing, the whole thing gains energy. Let’s do this ASAP.

  21. Robert Milnes

    Brian Holtz, Tom K. voted for McKinney. His rationale resonated with me. It was along the lines of comparion her voting record with Ron Paul’s-a flawed concept but barely acceptable. I was deeply troubled by Barr, couldn’t see voting Baldwin, would never vote for Ron Paul even write-in, & never voted Republican in my life. But I so deeply resently how magnificently the democratic liberals & Obama played the progressives that I decided to vote republican as a protest statement. Sure enough, soon progressives began to regret voting for Obama.

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