How Economics Might Shape Midterms

We know that economics tend to shape election outcomes, but a new poll by Rasmussen sheds some light on precisely how Americans view several key fiscal issues. They generally disapprove of some of the big decisions that Washington has made in the name of creating a healthier economy over the past few years. As you might expect, the results don't predict good news for Democrats.

The Stimulus

The poll found that 50% of respondents believe that their Congressional representative should not be replaced if he or she voted for the 2009 stimulus package. Meanwhile, 41% said that these lawmakers should be reelected, with the other 9% undecided.

The Auto Bailouts

The auto bailouts were even less popular. On this question, 53% polled said that a politician doesn't deserve to be reelected if he or she voted for the taxpayer bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler. Just 36% said that representatives voting for the bailouts should be reelected. The other 11% were undecided.

Health Care Reform

Another relatively unpopular measure according to the Rasmussen poll was health care reform. The numbers here came out similarly to the stimulus, with 50% of respondents saying that members of Congress who voted for it do not deserve reelection. Yet, this question had slightly tighter results with 43% saying that those who voted for the bill should be reelected. Here, 7% were undecided.


So what does this mean for November? According to Rasmussen, the responses were strongly along partly lines, with Republicans against members of Congress who voted for these measures and Democrats for them. Interestingly, however, voters unaffiliated with either party sided strongly with Republicans, generally saying that politicians voting for these three measures should not be reelected.

Presented by

Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.

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