A new poll indicates that just under half of all Americans are happy about the results of last week’s midterm elections.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 48 percent of the public says they are happy that the GOP won control of the House of Representatives, with 34 percent saying they are unhappy and 18 percent saying they didn’t know or refused to answer.
The 48 percent who say they are happy with the election results is 12 points lower than the six in ten who said they were happy following the 2006 midterm elections, when the Democrats won back control of both the House and the Senate, and nine points lower than the 57 percent who said they were pleased following the 1994 midterms, when the Republicans won back control of both chambers.
According to the current poll, 52 percent of people questioned who say they voted in the midterms say they were happy with the outcome. That number drops to 42 percent among those who say they did not vote.
The survey indicates that Americans are divided on the Republicans’ plans and policies for the future, with 41 percent approving and 37 percent saying they disapprove. Approval is higher (45 percent ) among those who voted in the election that those who did not vote (35 percent).
“But on balance, both the general public and voters express less positive views of the GOP’s policies than they did of the Democrats’ proposals after the 2006 election,” says the report by Pew.
The new numbers augment the argument by many political analysts and pundits that the Republican’s victory in the midterm was more of a rejection of the Democrats’ policies than an approval of the GOP.
The Pew poll was conducted November 4-7 with 1,255 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
Meanwhile, political observers continue to digest what the results mean for both parties looking toward the 2012 election.
One analyst says the results clearly call for Democrats to change their course or they will face what could be a disaster in the presidential and congressional races two years away.
“The election this time saw a negative reaction to the politics of [Senate majority leader] Harry Reid, [Speaker of the House] Nancy Pelosi and President Obama,” University of West Georgia political scientist Gregory Dixon said.
He believes voters are turned off by the liberal stances on big issues shown by Democratic leaders. That’s especially true in the South and Midwest, Dixon said.
“This election is a wakeup call to Democrats. They’ve got to do a better job of connecting with more mainstream voters. This is kind of a cycle in American politics, this is temporary, but it does reflect a shift by Democrats toward the elite liberalism that’s found in the coastal regions of the country but does not connect with more conservative voters in the South and Midwest,” he said.