Agreement is not enough. Performance matters more.
That’s why the outlook for Democrats this November looks bleak. More and more Americans now agree with Democrats on the issues. But they are increasingly dismayed by President Barack Obama’s inability to get results.
The Gallup poll reports that, ideologically, Americans are moving to the left on both social and economic issues. Though more Americans continue to identify as conservatives than as liberals, the conservative advantage is shrinking.
In 2010, for example, which saw a huge backlash against Obama, self-described economic conservatives outnumbered economic liberals by 36 points. Every year since, the conservative lead has gotten smaller. It’s now 21 points.
On social issues, the conservative lead has virtually disappeared. It was 17 points in 2010. It’s now 4 points. “This movement is consistent with trends Gallup has seen on specific issues,” the polling organization reports, “most notably Americans’ views toward gay rights and legalizing marijuana.”
If public opinion trends favor Democrats, why are they facing a setback in this year’s midterm elections? Because voters are deeply dissatisfied with Obama’s performance. He hasn’t delivered. When it comes time to vote, performance counts more than agreement.