Voters Trust Democrats More On Issues But Don’t Plan To Vote For Them

A Newsweek poll shows that voters prefer the Democrats on most issues–but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will vote for them:

Simply put, in the NEWSWEEK Poll, voters said they trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle pretty much every problem currently facing the country: Afghanistan (by 6 points), health care (by 12), immigration (by 2, though that figure is within the margin of error), Social Security (by 14), unemployment (by 12), financial reform (by 14), energy (by 19), and education (by 19). Voters even prefer Democrats to Republicans on federal spending (by 4 points), taxes (by 5), and the economy (by 10)—the GOP’s core concerns. The only area where Republicans outpoll Democrats is the issue of terrorism, where they lead by a 6-point margin.

It is amazing that anyone would trust the Republicans on terrorism considering how terribly they performed there, but at least Democrats dominate on all other issues. The Republicans’ primary “accomplishment” on terrorism was to play into bin Laden’s hands and strengthen al Qaeda.

A ten percent lead on the economy has to cast some doubt on the conventional wisdom that this will be a wave election for the Republicans. Newsweek also disagrees with the conventional wisdom that anger will be the deciding factor:

For starters, self-described angry voters constitute only 23 percent of the electorate, and there’s no reason to believe that they’re more likely to cast ballots in November than their calmer peers. Why? Because the percentage of angry voters who say they will definitely vote in the midterms is statistically indistinguishable from the overall percentage of voters who say the same thing (84 percent vs. 81 percent). In fact, majorities of voters say they would not be more likely to vote for candidates who express anger at Washington incumbents (60 percent), Wall Street bankers (52 percent), the illegal-immigration problem (53 percent), the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (65 percent), or health-care reform (55 percent).  Fifty-three percent of voters see Obama’s unemotional approach to politics—his “coolness”—as a positive, versus only 39 percent who don’t.

Unfortunately Newsweek finds that the economy will work against the Democrats even though “44 percent went for Republicans, 46 percent for Democrats” on the question of who they wanted to control Congress. The logic is that:

…voters are desperate for greater economic security, and willing to try something new to achieve it. With 59 percent assigning “a lot” of blame to Congress as a whole—and 42 percent placing that blame on congressional Democrats, compared with only 30 percent for congressional Republicans—it’s only natural that Democrats are likely to be the ones losing seats in November.

Voting for the party which created the economic problems is hardly “something new.” The Democrats have about a month to convince voters of this.