The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll suggests that erstwhile Republican voters are coming back into the fold in advance of the 2010 elections:
Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters—all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House. Those voter groups now favor GOP control of Congress.
The turnarounds among soccer moms and independents are surprisingly stark:
A big shift is evident among independents, who at this point in the 2006 campaign favored Democratic control of Congress rather than Republican control, 40% to 24%. In this poll, independents favored the GOP, 38% to 30%.
Suburban women favored Democratic control four years ago by a 24-point margin. In the latest survey, they narrowly favored Republicans winning the House. A similar turnaround was seen among voters 65 and older.
I’m not surprised that the Democrats’ unalloyed statist agenda has driven so many into the arms of the GOP. But if the tea-partier angst in my inbox and the electoral climate for establishment Republicans (from Crist to Bennett) are any indication, this is less true love than a marriage of convenience.