Fear Drives Democrats, Republicans to Polls on Election Day – Update

Filed in Gather Politics News Channel by on November 1, 2010 0 Comments


Whether GOP Wins Big or Not, That Doesn’t Mean Renewed Trust for Republicans

As the 2010 Midterm Election comes to an end, the pendulum in American politics appears set to swing back toward the GOP. However, that swing does not necessarily indicate Americans believe the Republican Party will lead them out of a volatile time in American history filled with economic uneasiness.

Voters who intend to vote GOP in the election are, for the most part, evenly divided in their motivations. According to a WSJ/NBC News poll, forty-eight percent of those who hope Republicans take over Congress say their vote will be a positive vote for Republicans while forty-five percent say their vote will be a protest against Obama/Democrats. A similar division can be found among Democratic voters whom many think have suffered a lack of enthusiasm for voting Democrat in this election.



The media has analyzed and hypothesized about this so-called enthusiasm gap. In the past months, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama took aim at disgruntled liberal or progressive voters making remarks intended to keep them from staying at home on Election Day. Yet, for what it’s worth, Democratic voters energized and they have been out in force—afraid of what might happen if the Tea Party makes huge gains, afraid of the Koch Brothers, the Chamber of Commerce or Karl Rove’s American Crossroads buying the election, afraid of an outcome that could be the death knell for Obama’s agenda.

Liberal voters were always going to come through for Democrats because they really have no political alternative. Staying at home means not doing one’s civic duty as a citizen and voting a third party or Independent candidate means “spoiling” an election and possibly “helping” a Republican win.

Many Democrats, at this moment, predict “better-than-expected results.” Meanwhile, Republicans are tempering expectations for their “expected victory.” Is it possible the 24-hour news media that has been magnifying the possible impact of the enthusiasm gap for Democrats has also been hyping the possibility of the GOP taking the House of Representatives and the Senate?

How much have voters’ attitudes toward elections shifted since 2006, when the last volatile electoral shift occurred? Or, is this volatility just a bitter indication that attitudes have not shifted and Americans know what they want but aren’t sure if the Democrats or Republicans can deliver?

Voters leaning Democrat will check boxes for Democrats knowing full well that the party they prefer over Republicans single-handedly blew it and revived a GOP that was on its deathbed. Voters leaning Republican will check boxes for Republicans knowing full well that the party they prefer over Democrats will stop whatever it is the Obama Administration has done to make them fear that the economy or the country itself is facing imminent danger.

Above all, Independents, those who refuse to affiliate with either party, will define the outcome. With forty-one percent of Independents in a Gallup poll saying the country would be better off if controlled by Republicans (and forty-two percent saying same regardless), they’ll likely be the main factor in deciding which political party gets to have another shot at appeasing an increasingly polarized electorate.

*Photo by Truthout.org


Update: Gallup poll shows GOP with fifteen percent lead over Democrats

One of the latest Gallup polls on the 2010 Election perhaps makes it a bit harder to argue that the GOP is mostly voting out of fear. If GOP candidates win as handily as this Gallup poll suggests they might, one would have to concede there a quite a number of voters who lean Republican that have renewed faith in Republicans.

All it took was President Barack Obama and a Democratic Party that got manhandled when it came to communicating to Americans about what it was able to successfully do or not do in the past two years. Obviously, Democrats won a key battle when they passed health reform legislation but the Republicans or Tea Party wound up winning because in the aftermath they were able to make Americans afraid of what had been reformed.

About the Author ()

Kevin Gosztola is a multimedia editor for OpEdNews.com. He follows media & activism, religions and their influence on politics, and sometimes writes movie reviews for OEN. His work can be found on Open Salon, The Seminal, Media-ocracy.com, and a blog

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