Emily Swanson | October 27, 2009
Democracy Corps (D)
2,000 "likely voters in the 55 most competitive Democratic-held districts and the 20 most marginal Republican-held districts"
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Democracy Corps: Overview, Analysis)
75 Most Competitive Congressional Districts
Bottom-line, there is no evidence that anything historic or beyond the norm is currently in the works. If the election were tomorrow, Democrats would likely lose about 20 seats in the current 55-seat battleground, offset by some further Republican losses - resulting in a net loss near 15 to 20 seats. That is slightly below the historic norm and less than half of the number needed to threaten taking control. Moreover, the vote and incumbent job approval in the 37 Democratic districts we also polled in July is stable - without sign of a broad deterioration. This should give some perspective.
To be sure, there are serious trends that put some Democrats at risk, particularly an anti-incumbent mood that is apparent in all three Democratic tiers, as well as the Republican seats. The Democrats' image has weakened since July, along with President Obama's approval in these Republican-leaning seats, in line with national trends from the late summer. The voters here are split evenly on whether they want to reward their incumbent with reelection or vote for a Republican to control spending.