When considering the polling prior to the outcome of the recent Albuquerque mayoral election, I noted that a strong anti-incumbent sentiment was in play:
In 2008, incumbents were swept out of office. Sure, it was a huge Democratic sweep. But, it was just as much an anti-incumbent sweep. People wanted new blood. They voted for “change.”
The Obama administration and the Democrats now in control of the Congress misunderstood this vote for change to mean the country was endorsing a shift to the left and bigger government programs. This wasn’t and isn’t the case at all. The vast majority of Americans are not extremist – neither right nor left. Instead, they are firmly planted in the center.
So, the change they were voting for was against the incumbents, and the direction in which they were taking our country, which ironically enough was towards bigger government programs. Now, it seems to me that the anti-incumbent sentiment has not subsided. It is still alive and well.
My observation regarding the anti-incumbent sentiment seems to be confirmed by a recent Pew Research Group study:
According to the Pew Research Group, the number of people who would like to see their own U.S Representative re-elected has reached a low point — the same type of low point seen in the 1994 and 2006 midterms when the parties in power suffered large losses.
“About half (52 percent) of registered voters would like to see their own representative re-elected next year, while 34 percent say that most members of Congress should be re-elected,” according to Pew. “Both measures are among the most negative in two decades of Pew Research surveys.”
And, in more bad news for Democrats, Republicans are currently much more enthusiastic about voting in 2010.
I’d argue that these results also apply to the Governor’s office and any swing legislative districts in 2010. Spend time talking to people about politics, and you’ll see its true. Its probably the reason behind State Senator Eichenberg’s recent candid observation:
He wrote that Eichenberg told the crowd at the Southwest Learning Center in Albuquerque that due to Denish’s “complacency or complicity” with the ‘pay-to-play’ atmosphere surrounding the administration of Governor Bill Richardson, and standing quietly behind him,” that he was unwilling to invest a half million dollars in a ‘losing campaign.’
Bralley writes Eichenberg said, “I looked her square in the eye when I said that. I told her I didn’t think she was going to win.”
I’d say the numbers support his assertion.