Elections 2010

Voter dissatisfaction could drive polls

Voters are angrier than ever, polling shows. The outcome of today's races may be determined by just who they blame the most.

A poll just out from Washington Post-ABC News shows anti-incumbent feelings reaching a new high, with disapproval directed toward both parties. Only 29 percent of Americans say they plan to vote to re-elect their current representative, even lower numbers than in 1994, when Democrats lost their Congressional majority. At the same time, 60 percent of those polled had a negative view of Republican policies, and only about a third trusted them over Democrats.

This political atmosphere has made for some interesting races in California, where, as the New York Times notes, "the question posed in Tuesday’s elections can be boiled down to which voters find more tolerable: first-time candidates whose deep pockets and campaign accoutrements come courtesy of Wall Street wealth, or career politicians with the patina of experience and the throw-’em-out baggage that comes with it."

Right now, those questions mainly concern Republicans in the top-ticket races, with businesswoman Meg Whitman facing insurance commissioner Steve Poizner for the GOP gubernatorial nod, and former HP head Carly Fiorina battling former representative Tom Campbell and assemblymember Chuck DeVore for the Senate.

But in the fall, it's likely that Republicans from business background will be facing off with incumbent Democratic senator Barbara Boxer and former Democratic governor Jerry Brown, both of who faced little primary opposition.

Voter antipathy will also help to decide the fate of propositions 14 and 15, both dealing with election reform.

Prop 14 would open primary elections and allow voters to choose candidates from any party, with the top two vote-getters facing off in the general election. You can hear more details from "AirTalk" here or "Patt Morrison" here.

Prop 15 would help to set up a public campaign finance system in California. You can find KPCC's coverage of the measure here, and listen to guests debate it here.

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