Mark Blumenthal | November 6, 2006
Topics: 2006 , The 2006 Race
Democracy Corps, the project of Democratic pollster Stan Greeberg and Democratic consultants James Carville and Bob Shrum, just released their final tracking survey (memo, results) conducted among voters in 50 competitive districts currently held by Republicans. To be clear, they do not conduct 50 surveys in 50 districts, but one sample of 1,201
600 or so likely voters spread out across the 50 districts. While this approach does not allow for district-by-district projections, it is the only public survey available that has tracked attitudes on a weekly basis in the most competitive congressional districts (our massive collection of public polls, by comparison, provides what amounts to as a "time lapse" snapshot of these districts taken over the course of October).
There is evidence of a slight shift of the playing field to the Republicans at the end of last week, fully reflected in the first half sample of the survey on Thursday night. That shift includes perhaps a 2-point gain in party identification advantage amongst these likely voters (with and without leans) in the Republican districts; a 3-point rise in "right track" (though only 34 percent), a 3-point gain in Congress job approval (though only 34 percent) and a 4-point rise in "warm" reactions to Republican Congress (though only 38 percent).
Republican congressional voters' high interest in the election is up 4 points, but still lags 11 points behind that of Democratic voters. Together, that has likely cut the Democrats' margin by 2 points -- and that is not trivial in districts where Republicans are near 50 percent. But more striking is how stable is this race and how endangered the incumbents are. While the voting electorate has become marginally more Republican, it has not moved key indicators,
Of course, the polling company that conducted the survey -- Greenberg, Quinlan Rosner Research -- is a Democratic firm. So take these results with whatever grain of salt you deem appropriate.
The memo also makes some interesting observations about their year-long experiment with a "named" congressional ballot question. It is well worth reading in full.