Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Americans poised to give power to the Party they hate

American voters who frequently complain about nothing getting done in Washington now seem poised to give control of the U.S. Senate to Republicans, guaranteeing that nothing will get done in Washington over the next two years, at least.  

Nine separate Election Projection forecasts now show Republicans taking control of the Senate, winning 52 to 53 seats with 47 to 48 seats being held by Democrats and 3 Independents who are likely to caucus with the Democrats. 

These projections are in spite of the fact that in poll after poll, Americans support the position of the Democratic Party over that of the Republican Party on just about every public policy issue, often by overwhelming majorities. 

  • Global Warming: By a 58%-30% margin, Americans believe that "the federal government should limit the release of greenhouse gases from existing power plants."
  • EPA Carbon Rules: By a 67%-29% margin, Americans support the EPA setting "strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants with a goal to reduce emissions significantly by the year 2030."
  • Clean Energy/Dirty Energy: By a 59%-31% margin, Americans support "alternative energy" over "oil, gas and coal." By a 41%-31% margin, Americans believe we should put LESS emphasis on coal, compared to 76%-10% who believe we should put MORE emphasis on solar and 71%-12% who say we should put MORE emphasis on wind.
  • Gun Laws: By a 92%-7% margin, Americans support "requiring background checks for all gun buyers." By a 54%-9% margin, Americans believe that "laws covering the sale of guns should be made more strict" as opposed to "less strict."  By a 63%-34% margin, Americans OPPOSE more "teachers and school officials having guns in schools." By a 54%-42% margin, Americans support a "ban on assault-style weapons." Etc, etc.
  • Obamacare: 40% favor it and 17% oppose it because it's not liberal enough, for a combined 57% who support Obamacare or want it to go (much) further. Only 38% oppose it because it's "too liberal."
  • Same-Sex Marriage: By a 56%-38% margin, Americans support "allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally."
  • Abortion: 40% say abortion should be legal "always" or "in most circumstances," with another 38% saying it should be legal in "a few circumstances." Just 20% say it should be "always illegal."
  • Contraception: Americans overwhelmingly support contraception access, including a 53%-41% margin saying that "employers who object to birth control and other contraceptives on religious grounds...should not be exempt from the requirement that their health plans cover prescription birth control."
  • Immigration: Only 22% of Americans favor deportation of "immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally." In contrast, 58% of Americans support "allow[ing] them a way to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements." By a 65%-31% margin, Americans support the bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate and being held up by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that "allowed foreigners staying illegally in the United States the opportunity to eventually become legal American citizens if they pay a fine, any back taxes, pass a security background check, and take other required steps."
  • Minimum Wage: By a 71%-28% margin, Americans overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage.
  • Social Security: By a 73%-21% margin, Americans "think the benefits from Social Security are worth the cost of the program for taxpayers." And by a 51%-37% margin, Americans OPPOSE "hanging the way Social Security benefits are calculated so that benefits increase at a slower rate than they do now."
  • Labor Unions: By a 54%-39% margin, Americans approve of labor unions.
  • Campaign Financing: By huge margins, Americans support " limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute to political campaigns" (71%-25%), and limiting spending by "groups not affiliated with a candidate" (76%-22%).
  • 69 percent of Americans oppose any cuts to Social Security or Medicare, even in order to cut the deficit, while only 23 percent support such cuts.
  • Between 60 percent and 80 percent of Americans support increasing taxes on the wealthy.
  • 58 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, while only 39 percent support continued criminalization.
  • 62 percent of Americans support the Paycheck Fairness Act - which seeks to close the gender-based wage gap - while only 29 percent of Americans oppose the act.
  • 66 percent of Americans support stronger EPA air regulations, 72 percent support stronger carbon-emission.

Read the election forecasts here:

Election Projection
Five Thirty.
The New York Times.
The Washington Post.
Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Daily Kos.
The Princeton Election Consortium.
and Microsoft/Bing. provides some analysis/explanation of the different forecasting models being used by the forecasters here:

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