Yesterday’s Washington Post/ABC News poll showed a rising group of malcontents who don’t like President Obama, either party, or … much of anything. (More)
I have, on occasion, been grumpy. Such occasions include when I have to travel, or when I’m hungry. Okay, there are other occasions too. Lots of them, in fact. So I think I’m an expert on grumpy, and a growing number of Americans are doing it wrong.
Yesterday’s Washington Post/ABC News poll found them. You have to dig into the numbers, but the Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan and Scott Clement say they’re there:
Meet the haters.
We’re talking about the voters who’ve had it with all Washington politicians: President Obama, congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats. Despite their distaste for, well, everyone, when push comes to shove, these voters are lining up squarely behind GOP candidates for Congress.
Seventy-two percent of voters who disapprove of the job Obama, congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans are doing say they’d vote for the GOP candidate for U.S. House in their district if the election were held today, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday. Just 14 percent say they’d vote for the Democrat.
The haters matter because they constitute a significant and growing share of the electorate, due to sunken approval ratings for both Obama and congressional Republicans. Together they make up about a third (34 percent) of all voters. A month before the 2010 GOP wave election that swept House Democrats from power, the haters constituted only 28 percent of the electorate.
I don’t like the word “haters” so I’ll call them “malcontents.” As Steve M wrote at No More Mister Nice Blog:
I’ve said it before: when pollsters ask for respondents’ opinions of the parties, they should tease out whether the right-leaners who disapprove of the GOP do so because they think it’s not conservative enough. That’s the group that will always vote GOP – and it’s a large group. In any race, that group will vote for the most right-wing candidate, who will inevitably be a Republican.
So, yeah, it’s nice that the approval ratings of Republicans, and congressional Republicans in particular, are extremely low, and lower in nearly every poll than the approval ratings of Democrats and the president. But it doesn’t mean what a lot of people think it means. A large number of the disapprovers see two unacceptably left-wing parties – and always vote for the one they see as occasionally being just right on the ideological spectrum, a spot defined by the rest of us as “so far to the right it’s almost off the edge.”
You can find them in the comments section on any conservative news site. They’re the people who said Republicans caved by ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. They say Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a RINO – Republican In Name Only – because he negotiated a budget deal. When Newt Gingrich praised the late Nelson Mandela, the malcontents called him a RINO too. And so is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), for the same reason.
Or as No More Mister Nice Blog reader Victor succinctly put it:
Now, there’s three parties:
The Libtard Party
An’ REAL MURKIN Conservatives!
On the plus side, I won’t run out of research material for my thesis in 21st Century Political Nuttitude. On the minus side, I’d like to finish that thesis someday. But I’m not going to worry about that, because I’ll get grumpy.
Good day and good nuts.