A new Washington Post poll released today spells out the doomsday scenario facing House Democrats in 2010:
The latest Washington Post poll of the Virginia gubernatorial race represents more than bad news for Democratic nominee R. Creigh Deeds. The findings paint a portrait of the electorate that, if replicated elsewhere, stands as a warning sign for President Obama and Democrats who will be running in next year’s midterm elections.
The poll shows a lack of enthusiasm among many of the voters who propelled Obama and his party to victory last November, raising troubling questions for the Democrats: Were many of Obama’s 2008 energetic supporters one-time participants in the political process who care little about other races? Is Obama’s current agenda turning off some voters who backed him last year but now might be looking elsewhere?
The poll shows Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds trailing
Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell by nine points among likely voters. And that’s the good news. Here’s the rest of the story:
First, just half of Virginians who say they voted for Obama last November say they are certain to vote in the gubernatorial election. That compares with two-thirds of those who say they backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Second, there is a lack of energy in the African American community. Last November, African Americans made up 20 percent of the Virginia electorate, part of a broader surge that saw record numbers turn out nationally. Today, African Americans comprise just 12 percent of the likely gubernatorial electorate.
Third, the poll shows an even sharper falloff in interest among younger voters.
Fourth, the intensity gap between Democrats and Republicans has done a complete reversal.
At least among likely Virginia voters the contrast between Candidate Obama and President Obama is beginning to be get attention. This poll seems to confirm that the so called Obama mandate was indeed a mile wide and an inch deep.