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Needle Is Moving for GOP to Save the House

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Deeper_Background, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    Jim Geraghty has noticed it. MSNBC sees it. The Washington Post sees it. Even liberal blogger Jerome Armstrong, who appeared on my radio show on Saturday, was only cautiously optimistic about Tuesday, with an emphasis on the cautious.

    And my sources in Washington tell me the 2006 election is, like the melting New Hampshire snows after that first sustained burst of spring sunshine, a heck of a lot muddier than it used to be just a few days ago. And that’s good news for Republicans, because it is the Democrats’ lead that’s melting away.

    Internal Republican polls from around the country are showing a modest, yet consistent and noticeable trend in favor of Republican candidates. Note: these trends appeared before Saddam Hussein was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death—a turn of events Karl Rove himself could not have timed better for Republicans.

    “What you are hearing is a collective sigh of Republican relief after this latest round of data has come in,” one high-level Republican consultant in Washington told me. “Word is already starting to spread that the prophesied ‘tidal wave’ might only be a ripple.”

    One high-profile Republican pundit could hardly contain his glee that the prognosticators would be proved wrong, again. “If the present Republican surge is real and continues through Tuesday, Charlie Cook, Stu Rothenberg, and John Zogby will be stripped bare of any credibility when it comes to predicting electoral outcomes,” he stated. “Personally, I hope they go out of business.”

    Specifically, sources tell me that the Tennessee, Missouri, and Montana Senate races continue to trend toward the Republicans. Michael Steele, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Maryland is in a dead heat with Ben Cardin. Even Senate races Republicans have written off are showing positive trends: Mike DeWine in Ohio and Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania are said to be “surging.”

    In the House Republicans are now rapidly lowering estimates of how many seats they might lose. “Whereas a week ago we were looking at the possibility of losing 25 seats, we now think that number is closer to 10,” a Congressional Republican insider told me. “But it could come down to seven if positive trends continue in Connecticut and in the Sunbelt.”
  2. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

  3. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    thank you John Kerry! THAT AWFUL PEW POLL:

    John Judis and I have been e-mailing about the alarming Pew poll that came out today. It reflects the same trends captured by that earlier Washington Post/ABC poll, except that the trends are, gulp, even more pronounced. Worse, the folks at Pew have graciously posted their cross-tabs, which makes it nearly impossible to rationalize the lousy results. As John points out, the fact that Democrats' 15-point advantage among white women last month has turned into a 2-point disadvantage today is incredibly ominous. Unfortunately, it's not quite as ominous as the erosion in the Democrats' advantage among Northeasterners: from 26 points to 9. The Northeast is, of course, a region where Democrats are banking on roughly half a dozen pick-ups. That kind of dropoff isn't going to get the job done. (One bright spot: the Dems' advantage in the Midwest held steady.)

    The only result John and I disagree on is the fallout from the Kerry joke. Nearly 20 percent of independents told Pew that the joke raised doubts in their minds about voting Democratic (versus 36 percent of Republicans and 5 percent of Dems). John thinks that's a disastrously high number. I think it could be bad news, but it need not be. My feeling is that a good quarter to a third of all independents are basically Republicans. And, if you'll permit me a little armchair psychologizing, I think people who call themselves independents but are almost certain to vote Republican typically look for a convenient pretext to justify their vote. My guess is that the Kerry joke has provided that pretext, even though the outcome of their vote was never really in doubt.

    But who knows? Even if my pretext theory is right, that means 70 or 80 percent of Republican-leaning independents are all relying on the same pretext, which is a lot. Maybe some of those people really would have woken up on Election Day lacking any pretext and voted Democratic. I doubt there would have been many--if Kerry didn't get them, then the Saddam verdict or the defeat-o-crat slander probably would have--but it's possible.

    Update: A commenter raises an interesting question: Why is it that the polls released today (WaPo, Pew, USA Today) show a smaller margin for Dems, while the polls released yesterday (Time and Newsweek) show a larger margin? I'm not sure. It could be pure coincidence. Or it could be some kind of methodological similarity among the polls released on the same day, combined with methodological differences among the polls released on different days. (Which would be a slightly less pure coincidence, but still a pretty big coincidence.)

    But if you look at the polls as a group, one thing jumps out at you fairly quickly: the dates of the polling. All the polls begin either Wednesday or Thursday and extend at least through Friday evening. Which is to say, they would all appear to coincide with the prime Kerry-fallout days. But both Time and Newsweek stop polling on Friday, while WaPo and Pew poll through Saturday, and USAT polls through Sunday. That suggests part of the discrepancy has to do with polling on Saturday.

    Now, there are any number of reasons why polling through Saturday could affect your results. Maybe it just took an extra day for the full weight of Kerry's gaffe to sink in. (Though I doubt it. I'd guess that the effect would have subsided while you were off at your kid's soccer game, or whatever.) But, to my mind, the most plausible explanation is that more conservative people tend to stay home on Saturday nights, while more liberal people tend to go out, which would give the poll a slight conservative bias. (Ruy Teixeira informs me there is considerable debate within the polling community about precisely this point.) I doubt that's enough to explain all the variation, but it certainly looks like a factor.

    --Noam Scheiber
  4. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    Pew Research has published its crosstabs for the poll that shows the Republicans tightening up the race, which I linked last night. The internals deliver even more bad news to the Democrats, as significant leads in several demographic categories have been cut drastically or wiped out entirely.

    The last Pew Research poll was taken in early October. In a month, the Democrats have lost non-minorities altogether. The gap among all whites went from +5 Democrats to +5 GOP, a ten-point swing. White females had supported Democrats by a 15-point margin and a majority (55-40), but now give the GOP a 2-point lead. The Democrats have also lost the middle class, a big problem in this election.

    Households earning between $50K-$75K and $30K-$50K have both slipped to the GOP. The former switched from a 14-point margin for the Democrats to an eight-point Republican lead, while the latter has had an even more dramatic shift. Those earners had favored Democrats by 22 points, but now go Republican by 3. The Democrats even lost the tie they had with earners above $75K, and now trail there by seven. They did extend their margin for earners below $30K from 25 points to 30.

    In the religious demographics, where the Democrats have tried mightily to find some traction, they also have problems. They held a thin lead (5 points) among all Protestants, but now trail by 9. Their ten-point lead among white mainline Protestants has dissipated into a tie. They lead among all Catholic, having lost three points off of an eight-point lead, but non-Hispanic Catholics now favor the GOP by 5 points, a ten-point shift.

    Even in areas where Democrats maintained their leads, they have cause for some nail-biting. They lost part of their margin among self-described moderates, going from a whopping 44 points to 27. They had led in all regions of the country a month ago, but now have lost the South altogether in a 16-point shift, and a 26-point gap in the Northeast has narrowed to nine points -- a remarkable comeback for Republicans in a liberal stronghold. The GOP also cut the Democratic lead among urban voters from 32 points to 10.

    The theme of this poll is the attack on Democratic gains in this election cycle. The GOP has rolled back the Democratic intrusion onto Republican demographics, which leaves the field looking similar to 2004 and 2002. This race may hold some very unpleasant surprises for the Democrats in the House races if these numbers hold up or continue to erode over the next 40 hours.http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/008449.php#comments
  5. Stretch15

    Stretch15 Member

    Enough already...enough!

    We all get the picture - the Democrats are claiming a landslide victory, the Republicans are claiming things are tighter than that.

    Fact is, you can throw all the polling data away, you can ignore all the prognostications and predictions - nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.

    The only thing that is for sure is this - if the Democrats win big tomorrow, these boards will be soon filled with Republicans complaining about gridlock in Washington, and if the Republicans are able to hold some ground, these boards will be filled with Democrats complaining about gridlock in Washington.

    Tomorrow can't come fast enough...
  6. Any strategist that says DeWine is "surging" in Ohio needs to be kept away from heavy machinery. The more serious journalism as regards the "tightening" phenomenon is coming from people with the political equivalent of battered-wife syndrome.
    And D_B is a dolt, but that has nothing to do with this.
  7. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    Talent is now ahead in Missouri
  8. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    But coachability remains way behind.
  9. http://www.usatoday.com//news/polls/tables/live/2006-11-05-state-polls.htm
    No, he's not.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Apparently, if you're deep_douchebag, "ahead", means, "down seven with registered voters."

    In all honesty, every reputable pollster I've seen refuses to even push that one. It's too important, and muh too close.
  11. joe

    joe Active Member

    Dewey defeats Truman
  12. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Well fucking played.
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