Donna Cassata of the AP, recently wrote about a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll in which voters prefer Democrats to Republicans this November. In her article it states:
The AP-Ipsos survey asked 789 registered voters if the election for the House were held today, would they vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in their district. Democrats were favored 51 percent to 40 percent.
Not surprisingly, 81 percent of self-described liberals said they would vote for the Democrat. Among moderates, though, 56 percent backed a Democrat in their district and almost a quarter of conservatives - 24 percent - said they will vote Democratic.
There are two misunderstandings about this poll. First, it is a misunderstanding to interpret the poll as a vote of confidence in Democratic candidates. Other polls like this PEW Research poll, have Republicans and Democrats as parties separated by a only a few percentage points in terms of low regard. This favoring of Democrats is reflective of two other trends at play. First is the backlash effect against the Republican performance at the helm. Voters having lost confidence in Republicans, including some conservatives, will be voting Democrat only because they perceive this is the only way to convey their deep disappointment in Republican control. This should not be mistaken as an endorsement of Democrats in general as a better party or candidates.
The second misunderstanding about this poll is on the part of the respondents to it, I suspect. They may be indicating they will vote for a Democrat, but, not necessarily because they know the candidate or what they stand for, but, because in their minds, there are only two choices in November: a Democrat or a Republican. This misunderstanding and frankly, lack of homework on the part of these poll respondents reflects a general ignorance and apathy toward third party and independent candidates. There will be more than two choices in a great many district and state races in November. It is a gross public misunderstanding to think their voting choice is limited to a Democrat or Republican.
I would argue that conservatives will get far better conservative performance out of Libertarian candidates than they will out of Republicans. And conversely, I would argue that liberals will get far better liberal performance out of Green Party candidates than they will out of Democrat candidates. And for moderates, there will be a number of independent candidates whose platform straddles left and right in an attempt to seek real solutions to real problems regardless of whether the approach is considered liberal or conservative.