It’s impossible to predict what will happen in November when voters head to the polls in the 2010 midterms. But looking at the current landscape and polling, it shows that a stagnant economy, a bleak job market, an unpopular healthcare bill, a suffering gulf and lawless border have put Democrats on very shaky ground.
And this isn’t just election. Democrats hold the House, the Senate and the White House giving them total control. If the GOP were to take either legislative bodies – or both – a power balance would be achieved.
If the election were held today, Republicans would have a good chance at capturing the House of Representatives. Generic congressional ballot polls show the GOP with an edge. Numbers by Rasmussen, Fox News and Quinnipiac show the right with a 9, 4, and 5 point lead, respectively, and a margin of error of +/- 3%.
Enthusiasm is also on the GOP’s side. Republicans are much more engaged in the coming election and more inclined to say they are certain to vote than are Democrats.
According to the Pew Center’s President Andrew Kohut, “the much-talked about GOP enthusiasm edge over Democrats is turning into a sizable voter turnout advantage, one even bigger than in 1994 when conservatives shocked Washington and took control of the House and Senate.”
The GOP needs to win 39 seats to switch control and remove Speaker Pelosi from her leadership post. Currently, 100 seats are being targeted and pursued aggressively. It should be noted that the House has never flipped without the Senate. This could be the first time in history that happens.
The Senate seemed out of reach until recently, but with races in both California (where former HP CEO Carly Fiorina is closing in on Senator Barbara Boxer) and Wisconsin (where Senator Russ Feingold could be unseated by Ron Johnson) the other side of Capitol Hill is now in play.
Independents will play a key role in the midterm outcomes. The demographic broke in large numbers for Barack Obama in 2008 but have peeled off and are now polling more likely with the right.
Fueling this wave against the left is a very unpopular President and his policies. According to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll released July 16th, finds that 41 percent of voters will cast their ballots to register opposition to President Obama's policies and according the Gallup Daily poll, President Obama’s job approval is hitting one of his lowest points - a 46% approval and disapproval rating. The real nugget of interest when you look closer is that only 36% of Americans have confidence in the Presidency. That’s down 15 percentage points in the last month.
But the right shouldn’t reach for the champagne just yet. Despite the GOP’s favorable electoral prospects, its brand image with the public is still relatively lackluster. According to the same Fox News poll, even among GOP voters, nearly as many disapprove as approve of the way Republican congressional leaders are handling their jobs.
Bottom line to all this: Democrats need to change course – and fast. The voters aren’t happy with the way they’ve governed and don’t trust them to handle a majority of the most important issues to the nation. The Republicans need a cogent, clear message. It’s time to stop the message schizophrenia from healthcare to Kagan to immigration. They should hammer home a message of growth, jobs, the economy and spending each and every day until Election Day, under the umbrella of a larger message: that government is taking over with the Democrats in power.
Though the final tally is still months away, one element will likely carry through to the Fall. The voters are motivated by anger and fear. They aren’t just frustrated with Washington; they are petrified of the future and what the Beltway will do next. Democrats – or anyone who has supported big government -should be petrified, too.
Andrea Tantaros is a FoxNews.com contributor and conservative columnist. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros.
Fox Forum is also on Twitter. Follow us @fxnopinion.
Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros.