Pollsters: ‘Everything is Terrible’Posted: August 11, 2014
Polls from major networks, researchers and newspapers agree: America’s in a bad mood.
For Politico, Lucy McCalmont reports: In just one week, polls found politicians of all stripes are hitting approval numbers with record lows. The president finds himself roughly as popular as a trip to the dentist. The entire Democratic Party gets the thumbs down. Oh, and so does the Republican Party.
“What we’re really seeing in an unprecedented way, especially in the key Senate races, is that voters don’t like either of the major candidates.”
— Tom Jensen, the director of Public Policy Polling
Pollsters say it all adds up to a country that feels “everything is terrible,” as one put it, a mood that campaigns should consider as they head into the midterm homestretch, when turnout should be all about enthusiasm — not pessimism.
“With an ‘everything is terrible’ mindset, I’m mostly thinking about how after several years of cantankerous and unproductive lawmaking in Washington, there are very few political figures or institutions who the public trusts anymore,” Scott Clement, The Washington Post’s polling analyst, said in an interview.
When it comes to candidates, voters are also less than thrilled with both incumbents and their challengers.
“What we’re really seeing in an unprecedented way, especially in the key Senate races, is that voters don’t like either of the major candidates,” said Tom Jensen, the director of the left-leaning Public Policy Polling.
Jensen pointed to Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska and North Carolina, where Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan remains ahead. However, Jensen said it’s not because of high approval ratings.
“Hagan has a -10 approval rating, and usually if you have a -10 approval rating it means you’re doomed,” Jensen said. But, he added, Hagan’s Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, “has a -23 favorability rating, so that race remains very competitive despite Hagan being an unpopular incumbent, because voters really don’t care for her opponent, either.”
The pollster added, “to a much greater extent than usual this year, with voters being so unhappy, ‘so-and-so’ has a negative approval rating, but they still lead for reelection because people like the alternative even less.”
Not even hometown political heroes are spared….(read more)