Last week, B-M CEO Mark Penn and Vice Chair Karen Hughes discussed “Will the Midterm Elections Result in Deals or Gridlock?” at George Washington University moderated by NBC News Correspondent Mike Viqueira.
Mark Penn and Karen Hughes discussed “Will the Midterm Elections Result in Deals or Gridlock?” at George Washington University [VIDEO]
Following the Democrats’ 2010 midterm election losses, Mark Penn spoke with Chris Matthews on Hardball about former President Bill Clinton’s big midterm losses and subsequent rebound. Can President Obama draw upon lessons learned by Clinton?
Democratic Strategist Mark Penn appeared on Fox Business News’ Bulls and Bears to discuss what the president must do to maintain the support of the American people.
The Huffington Post: Strategy Corner with Mark Penn: Exit Polls Show the Voters Just Want Obama Back in the Center and on the Economy
By MARK PENN
Published November 3, 2010
Without doubt the Tea Party will be rejoicing at the midterm results and laying down ultimatums to the Republican Party to steer to the right, and the Republican Party, having embraced the Tea party, will be hard pressed to say “no” to the new right wing in America.
Poll after poll shows that the Tea Party is really a splinter of the Republican Party, and the exit polls show that this was a vote about the economy, not ideology. Only 23 percent of the voters said that they were casting a vote for the Tea Party while 56 percent said it was not a factor and the rest outright opposed them.
But 62 percent of the voters said that the economy was the key factor determining their vote. The polls show that the voters want tax cuts not tax increases, modification or repeal of health care, spending cuts and above all jobs.
With health care reform, cap and trade bills, and tax increases, President Obama got out of step with the voters. Why he didn’t just kick the Bush tax cuts down the road a year and get them out of the election cycle is mystifying. Instead — just like in 1994 — the Democrats ran on the platform of increasing taxes for the wealthy, amplifying class warfare rather than ending it.
Whoever told President Obama “don’t worry, just pass health care and they will love it” must be squirming in his seat tonight. And all those who think that tacking further to the left is the answer for the Democrats should look at these results carefully and think again.
A majority of voters see the midterm election as a referendum on Barack Obama, but most have not decided whether they’ll vote against the president in 2012, according to a poll by The Hill.
Seventy percent of respondents in The Hill’s latest survey of 10 battleground districts said their feelings about President Obama will play an important role in how they vote on Nov. 2.
That tracks closely with polling conducted by The Hill in other districts across the country during the past three weeks, where 69 percent of voters said Obama would affect their choices on Election Day.
The focus on Obama was high among voters in both parties; 47 percent of Republicans in the latest poll said Obama would be a very important factor in their vote, while 46 percent of Democrats said the same thing.
Yet 54 percent of those polled said Republicans winning back control of Congress this year would have no impact on their vote in 2012. An even higher number of independents, 62 percent, said a Republican Congress would have no impact on their vote for president in 2012.
The results point to a paradox of the 2010 election: While it is clear voters worried about government spending and record deficits want to put a brake on the Obama administration, they do not appear to have given up on the president.
“The results indicate voters want to see Obama move to the center and work more with Republicans, particularly on spending”, said pollster Mark Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the survey.
While Penn said that the 2010 election is “in many ways” a referendum on Obama, he added: “Voters didn’t see any direct correlation between who holds Congress and who they’ll vote for president.”
Republicans are headed for a blowout election win that seems certain to seize more than enough seats to knock out the Democrats and take control of the House.
The Hill 2010 Midterm Election poll, surveying nearly 17,000 likely voters in 42 toss-up districts over four weeks, points to a massive Republican wave that, barring an extraordinary turnaround, will deliver crushing nationwide defeats for President Obama’s party.
The data suggest a GOP pickup that could easily top 50 seats (the party needs 39 for control of the House).
Of the 42 districts polled for The Hill, all but two of which are currently Democratic, 31 had Republicans in the lead. Democrats were up in just seven, and four were tied. In addition, there are some 15 Democratic districts that are so far into the GOP win column that they weren’t polled. That would suggest at least 46 GOP pickups, plus whatever the party gets out of another 40 or 50 seats that some experts believe are in play.
“We didn’t even poll in about 15 districts that are already too far gone for Democrats,” said Mark Penn, whose firm, Penn Schoen Berland, conducted the poll. “So that, along with our entire series of polls, points to something in the range of a 50-seat gain for Republicans.”
Nowhere are Democrats more clearly threatened with heavy defeat than in the South.
Nov. 2 looks set to reverse a trend of recent elections that suggested the blue party might claw its way back in states dominated for a generation by the GOP.
The Hill’s polling shows senior Democrats in the South, who survived earlier Republican waves, poised to fall in next week’s predicted GOP sweep.
In 42 competitive districts polled in four weeks by The Hill, white Southern Democrats face stronger headwinds than any of their colleagues.
Democrats hold 59 Southern House seats and could lose a dozen of them — helping Republicans toward the net gain of 39 they need for control of the House.
“It’s fair to say that Democrats will be devastated in the South,” said pollster Mark Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, who conducted the poll. “I think the strongest deficits the Democrats are facing are in the South and in the Midwest.”
A majority of voters in key battleground races say President Obama has either brought no change to Washington or has brought change for the worse.
In 10 competitive House districts, 41 percent of likely voters say Obama has brought change for the worse, and 30 percent say he has made no difference.
Almost two years after Obama declared on election night that “change has come to America,” only 26 percent believe he’s delivered on his promise to end business-as-usual in the capital.
Strikingly, 63 percent of voters under the age of 34 said the president either has not changed Washington or has made it worse.
In 2008, voters under the age of 30 voted 2-to-1 for Obama against his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). But in The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll, only 34 percent of young people say the president has effected change for the better.
The poll was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland and surveyed 4,276 voters in 10 House districts held by two-term Democrats. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.5 percent.
“All change is not good change, and the voters are expressing overall dissatisfaction with the direction of change so far,” said pollster Mark Penn of the findings.
Two-term Democrats, whose victories helped secure the Speaker’s job for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are facing the possibility of a near-wipeout in the Nov. 2 election.
Of 10 reelection races involving sophomore Democrats, Republican challengers are ahead in six and tied in two more, according to The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll.
The fact that these Democrats, dubbed “majority makers” by Pelosi, are in jeopardy is a clear indication that the GOP has a good chance to run the House again after four years in the minority.
Of 32 battleground districts polled so far by The Hill this fall, Democrats are leading in only three, with four races tied. Republicans are ahead in 25.
Thirty of the 32 seats surveyed are now held by Democrats.
“Out of the 10 districts of the second-term incumbents, only one of them is outside the margin of error,” said pollster Mark Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the poll. “So virtually every one of these incumbents remains vulnerable.”
A majority of voters in all 10 districts had a negative opinion of Obama. Overall, 69 percent of voters said their views of the president will be very or somewhat important when they cast their ballots — a bad sign for Democrats.
There is still a large pool of undecided voters, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing for the Democrats, as most, Penn added, “typically will swing against an incumbent in these situations.”
By MARK PENN
Published October 18, 2010
As we head into the midterms it is increasingly clear that there will be no winners on election night given the massive discontent of the electorate almost across the board. Even if the Republicans have a good night, it will not be an endorsement of the Tea Party any more than 2008 was an endorsement of the progressive left. It will be another cycle in the game of ping pong being played out by an increasingly non-partisan, centrist electorate given too little choice — or, worse yet, given false choices.
The problem is that the successful strategies of the two wings of the parties, particularly as the parties have been shrinking, have driven both parties closer to the extremes. Think about the math of it — if the Republican Party is, say, 26% of the country and the most conservative elements of the party are 14%, then 14% can end up governing not just a minority party but the entire country.
At the root of the discontent is the desire to have practical, not ideological, solutions to intractable problems. In most cases, the voters oppose single-sided solutions that entirely reject one party’s ideas, and favor instead approaches that combine the best of each platform. No, not soft, watered down approaches, but strong, comprehensive solutions such as we’ve seen in the past with the balanced budget accord and Welfare reform.