2010: Anti-Incumbent, Anti-Liberal, or Anti-Democrat? — Sean Trende

Other signs exist that this could be an anti-Democrat year. Democrats who have generally opposed the President’s agenda have had pretty dismal polling results crop up. Rasmussen reports that Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin leads her Republican opponent by a slender 45%-41% margin. Frank Kratovil’s own polling from last fall – taken in a much better environment for Democrats – had him leading his GOP opponent by two points. And veteran Democrat Chet Edwards is down 53%-41% against Republican Bill Flores in the Republican’s polling; Edwards isn’t disputing the numbers. Even conservative Democrats with golden last names like Boren have shown some real polling weakness.

The historical record provides no support for 2010 being a generalized anti-incumbent year; the elections to date this cycle in major statewide races certainly don’t support this scenario either. The real question is whether moderate or conservative Democrats who oppose the Beltway Democratic agenda will be given cover from angry voters, or whether the electorate will thoroughly clean house this fall. That’s where the difference between a bad Democratic year and a debacle of historic proportions can be found.

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