High-profile Democrats James Carville, Stanley Greenberg, and Bob Shrum periodically report on the state of the Democratic Party, under the group banner of the Democracy Corps.
Their latest analysis reports that the new Democratic majority in Congress is making no headway in the eyes of the public, except for their condemnations of the war in Iraq and of embattled Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales. Overwhelmingly, they say, Americans believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, even with the Democratic majority in Congress.
Here's an excerpt from that report:
"For months now, we have chronicled the strikingly static political environment in the country as revealed in dozens of public polls released over the last four months. After the historic Democratic victory in November, ratings of Democrats surged while President Bush and Republicans continued to fall, moving Democrats to an even stronger position than they enjoyed in November. Since then – despite the new Congress, continuing violence and sectarian strife in Iraq, and major developments on a range of domestic and international issues – the key political indicators have barely moved:
- "The number of Americans who believe the country is moving in the right direction has been at or just below 30 percent since January, and earlier gains in consumer confidence have been erased by higher gas prices in the last few weeks. Across three polls released so far in April, we see a monthly average of 28 percent right direction, 67 percent wrong track – the highest wrong track number since May 2006.
- "President Bush’s anemic job approval numbers have been remarkably consistent across all polls for the past four months. Neither approval nor disapproval of Bush’s performance has moved more than a point from where they stood in January.
- "Continuing low marks for the Congress – 34 percent approval in two different polls this month – are mixed with optimism for the new Democratic Congress and strong preferences for congressional Democrats over President Bush on a range of issues, particularly Iraq.
- "Building on their 8-point victory in last November’s election, Democrats have maintained double digit margins in the generic congressional contest in almost every poll measuring the race this year."
The Democracy Corps' findings are good news for Republicans who are fighting against the Democrats' spend-big-and-let-taxes-go-up agenda, but bad news because the Iraqi situation remains so volatile and cannot be managed as normal legislative issues are.