Knees a Knockin'

The White House spin after the Democrats lost key elections in Virginia and New Jersey a couple of weeks ago was the results didn't reflect falling support for the president - instead, they argued, the losses were about local issues.
Since then, however, a flurry of new polls makes clear that Democrats are facing deeper problems with independents—the swing voters who swung dramatically toward the party in 2006 and 2008 but who now are registering deep unease with the amount of spending and debt called for under Obama's agenda in an era of one-party rule in Washington.
The truth is, Democrats are panicked. It was independents who bought the Hope and Change Hustle and put Obama into office. Now, Obama is being dumped as fast as the air leaving a burst balloon.
A Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.
That's pretty heavy. Just a year after the ascension of the Chosen One, independents now prefer Republicans by double-digit margins!
Obama’s own popularity among independents has fallen significantly, too. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed the president’s approval rating among unaligned voters falling to 45 percent — down from 63 percent in April.
18 points lost in half a year... the same six months over which the Obama crowd used to push the deadly Public Option.
Andrew Myers, who polled for Democrats in Virginia House of Delegates races this year, said his analysis of exit polls indicated that voters had come to see Democrats as a party of high spending — too willing to make a rush for the pocketbooks and unable to effectively articulate how their health care reform push benefited independents, many of whom already have insurance plans.
Remember all that talk about how the GOP would never win another election because of the changing demography of the country, and how the GOP was just becoming a party of the south?
The erosion among independents, however, isn’t simply a regional problem. Democrats are anxious about the prospects of five-term Sen. Chris Dodd in Connecticut, who trails one of his GOP opponents by 28 percentage points among independents in a prospective head-to-head matchup, and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, two Democratic incumbents with shrinking approval ratings among independent voters.