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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira: Conservative ‘Mandate’ — Not

TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira crunches some interesting numbers in his latest ‘Public Opinion Snapshot,’ and in the process shreds the conservatives’ most treasured myths about the November 2nd ‘mandate.’ As Teixeira explains, conservatives are spinning a dubious interpretation, in light of the more telling statistics:

…For them, the 2010 election was all about voters embracing conservative ideas on the economy, health care, and tax cuts. But the 2010 exit polls tell a different story.
Only 23 percent of voters blamed President Barack Obama for today’s economic problems. Instead, they blamed either Wall Street (35 percent) or President George W. Bush (29 percent).
Nor was the election a repudiation of the new health care reform law. Even among a midterm electorate with an abnormally conservative composition, about as many said they wanted to see the law remain as is or be expanded (47 percent) as said they wanted it repealed (48 percent).
Voters weren’t embracing the conservative position on tax cuts, either. A 52 percent majority of voters wanted to either keep only the Bush tax cuts for those with less than $250,000 or let them all expire compared to 39 percent who wanted to keep all the tax cuts.

A rather shaky mandate, indeed. Teixeira attributes GOP gains, more realistically to the economy, the structure of the mid term turnout and the vulnerable seats in conservative areas, factors which are assessed in clarifying detail in Teixeira’s and John Halpin’s new memo for the Center for American Progress Action Fund, “Election Results Fueled by Jobs Crisis and Voter Apathy Among Progressives,” recommended for those who prefer sober data-driven analysis to hyperactive GOP spin.

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