Come Back, Republican Party, All Is Forgiven

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 5 2010 9:05 AM

Come Back, Republican Party, All Is Forgiven

This seems like the key result in the Washington Post/ABC News poll:

In a sign of openness to change, Americans by 38-27 percent say it would be a good thing rather than a bad thing if the GOP took control of Congress – and among likely voters, that widens to a 46-29 percent margin. Meanwhile there’s pushback on the Democrats’ warnings of a return to the unpopular days of George W. Bush: Overall the public by 49-42 percent thinks a Republican- led Congress would take the country in a new direction, rather than returning to Bush’s policies. (On this, the result is similar among likely voters, 53-41 percent.) 

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This comes despite Obama's approval rating ticking up, Democrats shrinking their deficit to the GOP from 13 points to 6, and a number of other data points for the "Democrats not quite doomed" narrative that's so fashionable this week. This idea of the GOP Congress re-enacting the Bush years is less about winning soft independents and more about convincing lazy Democrats to come out and vote, and it's working a little. But overall you've seen the Republicans go in on a simple message that I'll restate here:

Bush screwed up, and we understand that he did. But you took a chance on Obama, and he made things worse. So vote for us.

And that's working, right?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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