CNN has a poll out this morning, but I can't find any more than the brief story they are highlighting: Voters Doubt Either Party has a Plan. The highlight that CNN is teasing is this one:
Asked if the Democrats had a clear plan, just 38 percent said they did, while 58 percent said they did not. Republicans fared worse, with 31 percent saying they had a clear plan and 67 percent saying they did not.
However, 63 percent of poll respondents said they believed Democrats could provide strong leadership, compared to just 49 percent who expressed confidence that the GOP would keep a firm hand on the wheel. And while 50 percent said they doubted the Republicans' leadership capacity, only 35 percent expressed the same doubts about Democrats.
This does little more than confirm what we all already knew: that Democrats are winning not because voters support their ideas, but because they are so fed up with Republicans. I think it shows the weakness of the 'no plan' charge as an issue; voters already 'know' that the Democrats have no plan, and they don't care. Republicans therefore need to improve their standing in the public eye. And they have two weeks to do it. Their focus should be on immigration, the war on terror, and the economy, and the fact that Democrats plan to raise taxes and weaken national security (the Democrats do have a plan, after all).
On the subject of dissatisfaction with the two major parties, Political Wire says that there is evidence coming that third-party candidates are having an impact in a surprising number of races nationwide. I think that in the broadest terms, 3rd party candidates tend to favor incumbents by splitting the anti-incumbent vote. Thus if thise 3rd party candidates are in races where incumbents are in close races for re-election, those incumbents are helped. One example might be Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, where the Green Party candidate just dropped out, clearly hurting Chris Shays's chances of re-election.
In other 3rd party news, Political Wire also notes that the Green Party candidate has 14% of the vote in the latest Illinois gubernatorial poll. This is one case where the 3rd party candidate is probably hurting the incumbent Democrat, as there are probably very few Green Party voters who would otherwise be voting Republican. Of course, it doesn't matter in this race, as the Republican candidate is trailing badly.
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