The generic Congressional ballot is a pretty good proxy for the parties’ standing with voters. It is surprisingly volatile: you might expect that preferences for one party over the other would change slowly, over generations, but in fact the generic ballot number is quite sensitive to the news cycle.
That said, the normal state of the generic ballot question is for Democrats to lead. Equality in the generic ballot generally translates into a big year for Republicans. So when Republicans pulled even or took a slight lead in generic preference polling a week ago, wiping out the big lead the Democrats held after the government shutdown, it sent a tremor through official Washington.
For Democrats, the bad news is just beginning. Today’s Rasmussen Reports shows the GOP jumping out to a five-point lead, 43%-38%. This compares with a one-point Democratic advantage just a week ago. Undoubtedly the Democrats’ decline is driven by the Obamacare debacle, although other issues, like Obama’s feckless Iran deal, might also contribute.
The Democrats’ problem is that, while they may be able to fix the Healthcare.gov web site, they can’t fix Obamacare. Obamacare is destined to be a rolling disaster for the next year, as millions of Americans lose the health insurance and the doctors they like, and pay more for worse coverage. At this point, the Democrats don’t have a plan: the intended consequences of Obamacare inevitably will become manifest, and there is nothing they can do to stop it. This graphic sums it up pretty well:
Still, the Democratic machine clanks on. The party sent its faithful a cheat sheet that was chock full of absurd claims, to arm Democrats for arguments with their relatives over Thanksgiving dinner. In a normal political environment this would be considered insane, but nothing has been normal since Barack Obama came on the scene. The Democrats aren’t finished with the holidays, either. The party now offers a range of holiday gifts for those who can’t resist putting something political under the tree.
Or on it. Can you imagine any normal person decorating his Christmas tree with this official Democratic Party ornament?
My favorite “holiday gift” is this I ♥ Obamacare sweatshirt, which the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will sell you for a mere $29.95:
I bet you a nickel you won’t see any of these walking around the mall this holiday season. The Democrats are great at fundraising, but it will take more than rah-rah emails to get Americans to ♥ Obamacare.