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US: Generic Ballot (Gallup, Rasmussen 7/26-8/1)

Topics: Generic House Vote , national , poll

National

Gallup
7/26-8/1/10; 1,562 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
48% Republican, 43% Democrat (chart)


Rasmussen
7/26-8/1/10; 3,500 likely voters, 2% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

2010 Congress: Generic Ballot
46% Republican, 38% Democrat (chart)

 

Comments
Chantal:

Gallup's enthusiasm numbers are astounding. 44% of Republicans are enthusiastic about voting while only 22% of Dems are. This is really going to be a blow-out this November.

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iVote:

Good for the GOP. Seriously, good for them. If they're willing to work with Pres Obama to get shit done, then I don't see them in control as a bad thing. If they just wanna obstruct and play politics, though, then we're stuck in the same mess.

I'm willing to give them a chance.

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Farleftandproud:

Interesting development, but Gallup has had the GOP leading before and the next week the Dems are back. I do notice that some week's Gallup polls more Dems than other weeks, and I think from what I could see this week, some Dems, were undecided.

The GOP only gained 1 percentage point on Independents, and the undecided Democrats did not show they are voting for a Republican.

I often wish, they would do a generic ballot for Congress, senate and governors too. I would like to see how many undecided voters might split their votes.

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CompCon:

Let's hear some more comments about that "democratic surge" that was all the buzz because of the two previous Gallup polls.

It is tempting to start crowing about how this is an amazing and unprecedented one week surge for the republicans and claim that it is because of people's anger over opposing the AZ law and because of the flood of ethics problems with the democrats in the house - but I won't. We experienced 2 back-to-back flukes with the Gallup poll and it looks like things are back to normal - until next week.

But I can't resist pointing out that Gallup says that their RV model usually underrerports republicans bu about 8% which would put them +13 over democrats right now with a LV model.

How many seats would the republicans pick up if they got 56% of the vote?

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vincent106:

That's some jump on the gallup number. A 9 point move. What do Dems have to be enthused about? Their leader has been a failure. Why would they be psyched to vote?

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Farleftandproud:

Because there are liars who want to keep the Bush tax cuts, change the 14th ammendment to the constitution, round up individuals without a warrant, repeal HCR so our country can continue to spend 10 times more than any other industrialized country? People like Sharron angle, Rand Paul and others make me want to vomit. The right is totally evil, and I want to make sure we are fired up by election day.

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Field Marshal:

LOL.

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rdw4potus:

Democrats are happier with Obama, but less happy about the state of the country. Nice!

And, for what it's worth, I still think that too much is being made about the enthusiasm gap. People vote out of a sense of duty. It doesn't matter if they're happy to do it or not. Unenthusiastic Dems WILL turn out in November...

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CompCon:

Wow - that farleft guy is just a tad over the top, isn't he? Is that the typical liberal response here to terrible news for the democrats?

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melvin:

How can the Democrats lose 9 pts in a week in the Gallup poll? To show you how nervous the Republican party is about the future,they wants to take us back 130 years,only allowing Federal tax payers to vote in Federal elections. I believe 47% of Americans don't pay Federal taxes.The GOP know they're future is bleak,that's why you're hearing all of this crazy talk about abolishing the 14th amendment and stopping people from voting because they don't pay Federal taxes.The Republican party sounds desperate if you ask me.By 2020 the GOP will not be able to compete for the White house,because FL,and Texas will be Blue States.

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CompCon:

OK, that answers my question. I guess over the top is the normal for the democrats here. Is it just this poll that has them riled or are they always this seething and hateful?

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TeaPartyRules:

Yeah, what FM said. I would like to give thanks and shout outs to my homies Rangel, Waters and cool cash Jefferson, keep on doin whata doin.

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Field Marshal:

Compcon,

I was just going to write about our dear troll melvin when he supplied you a TERRIFIC typical response for you. Farleft and melvin are a bit out there. Most just ignore them.

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Farleftandproud:

And the excitement gap that shows the GOP is way more excited to vote, is because in their minds, they know what candidates they will support. Of course the GOP is going to be extremely excited. That does not mean that registered Democrats won't vote, it just means they are slightly less excited than the GOP.

It is independents who will decide the 2010 election, and their excitement isn't all that great either. It will come down to them using their common sense.

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Chantal:

This was a pretty bad news week for Democrats, to be fair. WikiLeaks/AfPak is hardly keeping the party united, and Rangel's ethics violations are pretty embarrassing as well. My guess is these stories aren't going away either.

Then there's Anthony Wiener's phonecall to Oksana temper tantrum at the Capitol.

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melvin:

Why is the media and the Republican party is predicting Minorities will not come out to vote in November? Back in 1994 Minorities made up 10% of the vote,that's why the GOP won over 50 seats.This November the Minority vote is going to be 22%,which means the GOP have to get over 58% of the White vote to win 50 seats.Back in 1994 the GOP only needed 52% of the White vote to win over 50 seats,that's a big difference.Ann Coulter told Fox News only White people vote in Midterms,well we will see Mrs Coulter come November.

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Farleftandproud:

I am going to consider helping someone start a camp for kids interested in politics and call it the Young progressive youth organization.

I'll probably not call it that, because people may get the wrong idea.

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Farleftandproud:

"melvin:
How can the Democrats lose 9 pts in a week in the Gallup poll? To show you how nervous the Republican party is about the future,they wants to take us back 130 years,only allowing Federal tax payers to vote in Federal elections. I believe 47% of Americans don't pay Federal taxes."

You are absolutely right Melvin. It may not be quite that many people who pay federal taxes, but there is certainly a type of people in this country who cheat the system, and think they can get away with not paying their taxes. They are a bunch of anarchists, who like to use intimidation to scare the government.

Michelle Bachman said that Americans don't even have to fill out the census. That is because she doesn't want her district to be downsized. I have nothing against law abiding citizens who pay their taxes, follow the law, and abide by the system, and I will respect them if they choose to be conservative, but I think there are a lot of cheap skates around the country. I know some of them personally since many people in my business who don't pay their bills are also people who have had tax problems with the IRS. These people are cheating, and don't want to pay their fair share. Most of them have had kids in the public schools, and support the police, fire dept through tax, yet they are irresponsible.

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jack:

Who cares about generic ballot? Give me seat projections. Larry Sabato is smart enough to give us a seat projection. He said Republicans will win 32 House seats and 7 Senate seats, as of today. That is useful information.

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TeaPartyRules:

" Keeping Toomey out of the senate is my number 2 goal next to keeping Sharron Angle out of the senate."

Better idea- Why don't you start a school to teach progressives grammar and spelling, Melvin could be your first pupil.

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rdw4potus:

I think the Dems have a terrible time handling the media. Which is odd if the media are actually as liberal as the far right says they are.

I don't understand the handling of Rangel and Waters at all. Don't the dems just have to say "Yes, some of our members are dumbasses. Just like some Republicans in congress are dumbasses. We're handling this the same way we handled things with Cunningham and Delay. We, unlike the previous Republican majority, are willing and able to police our own members in addition to the opposition party."

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TeaPartyRules:

"I am going to consider helping someone start a camp for kids interested in politics and call it the Young progressive youth organization"

Sorry last post was meant for this comment

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Field Marshal:

He said Republicans will win 32 House seats and 7 Senate seats, as of today.

That would be great. The GOP would be close enough to a majority to put a halt to Pelosi and her crazy agenda while still be able to blame Obama and the Dems in 2012 for the ills they are causing.

Rothlisberg says there are 88 sure seats in play and 76 of them are currently Democratic.

This is a great site to see the potential change.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/house/2010_elections_house_map.html

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Bukama:

So will Rangel and Waters be showing up on "Dancing with the Stars" after the charges against them are dismissed (as all charges against Delay have been dismissed)?

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JMSTiger:

We are now back to everyone showing the GOP ahead in the generic ballot except for YouGov, which always shows the Democrats ahead.

-Gallup: GOP +5%
-Rasmussen: GOP +8%
-Fox: GOP +11%
-YouGov: Dems +3%
-Ipsos: GOP +2%
-CNN: GOP +5%
-Zogby: GOP +2%
-Quinnipiac: GOP +5%

There is still three months to go, but if the election were held today, I don't see any way the Republicans don't pick up at least 35 House seats, 6 Senate seats and 6 governorships.

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Aaron_in_TX:

The major news today is that Lindsey Lohan is out of jail. Many more people care about that than the bs politics that go on.

Rangel and Waters definitely don't help the democrats, but these aren't revelations. The right has been talking for more than a year about Rangel's ethics problems. Basically these episodes confirm that politicians are....politicians.

IMO, the system itself is corrupt, because it seems to be that this kind of thing happens under either republican or democrat control. Adding 40 or 50 new republicans (some of them will be former members of congress) will not make much of a difference.

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StatyPolly:

Seat projections?

If Repubs win the popular vote by 7-8% as current polling suggests, they will take a minimum 40-45 seat advantage. House will be 235-240 GOP, 195-200 Dems.

Even a tie in popular vote points to easy GOP win. I looked at it myself a while ago, comparing popular vote spread vs. seat gain spread. Dems have been trying to paint GOP as a regional party, but if you look at congressional district color map, even with the current heavy Dem majority, it is still the Dems look like a regional party.

http://innovation.cq.com/atlas/district_08

But prior close house elections point to the fact that Dems are the ones who are concentrated in fewer places than Repubs. I got a little help for that observations with this:

http://www.american.com/archive/2010/july/the-democrats-have-a-concentration-problem

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JMSTiger:

@ Aaron_in_TX

"The major news today is that Lindsey Lohan is out of jail. Many more people care about that than the bs politics that go on."

Amen to that. Bread and circuses.

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Farleftandproud:

Well the worry from the left is that Gallup had their generic ballot tied in 1994 before the election, yet the pollsters that were in existance at the time said the Democrats would lose 50 seats. They lost 53.

Democrats have some advantages to not let history repeat itself. They have a bigger cash advantage than they did in the post Reagan era; Democrats used to be outspent just about every election, and with new grassroots fundraising, Democrats can raise money through faithful donors.

As for the money scandals facing Rangel and Maxine Waters, yes it is a problem, and Democrats had some congressional scandals back then. 16 years later, nevertheless, both parties have had some pretty bad scandals. Rangel and Maxine Waters are US Reps, John Ensign's ethics violations will not be forgotten. I am sure that Vitter will be targeted in upcoming weeks too for his refusal to let a aid accused of a violent crime.

With 435 Reps, they are not going to all be honest people, regardless of party. At least it isn't Obama involved with a scandal and back in 1994, Democrats also had the shadow of Bill Clinton's Whitewater scandal.

Most politicians have something that is unethical about their campaigning, and none of them are completely honest.

Unless it turns out that Waters and Rangel didn't act alone, and it spreads to others in congress, the results will not be decided based on this.

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Aaron_in_TX:

http://www.electionprojection.com/index.php

Scott Elliot says +5 senate seats, +31 house seats, and +8 governorships. He is a conservative Christian republican.

He was very accurate in 2004 and 2008. In 2006 he bet against D takeover of the house, and only changed his formula very late in the game when it looked clear dems would take over. Even then he lowballed it. He had major egg on his face after that and was very cautious going forward.

He also lowballed Obama's EV total. But in general he's quite accurate and his projections are not loaded.

IMO, from a PR standpoint, the dems should be hoping for either a loss of less than 30 seats or loss of control of the house. Losses in the 30s would probably be the worst, and I find it unlikely the republicans will win more than 50 although I guess it's possible. Losses in the 40s would make them a very strong minority, better position than they were in after 2004.

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Farleftandproud:

"Field Marshal:
He said Republicans will win 32 House seats and 7 Senate seats, as of today. "

Actually, Ohio in the senate is within the margin of error, and Colorado has moved into a tossup. If you look at party idenity of Conservatives Vs MOderates and liberals, CO is less conservative than it used to be.

Democrats won't lose the senate, because they have enough seats held by the GOP that remain tossups.

The demographics, are not on Fiorina's side, Murray has too much respect and loyal support to lose. Even in Nevada they won't be stupid enough to elect that crazy lady, regardless of how unpopular Reid is.

Dems will lose IN, DE, ND, ARk, and possibly one other. Feingold is too much of a fighter to go down; Even if the Dems lose PA, they still have CO, NH, and OH as backups.

Democrats could win 3 or 4 senate seats by 2 or 3 points, keep the senate and in the house win enough to keep the majority.

What could happen is that Democrats could lose by huge margins in the rural midwest, the south, and other conservative districts in places like Oh, VA, and PA, but will keep enough districts not to lose congress.

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Farleftandproud:

Aaron: I think you are right. It is still way too early to predict. If by a miracle, the unemployment rate is 9.2 later this week, and in Sept, down to 8.8 it could have a complete shift.

Likewise, if the GOP spends the August recess making a fool of themselves, and using the same racist rhetoric they did last year, Democrats can fight back. We don't have HCR hanging over us, and Democrats facing tough races can really spend time working witht their constituents.

I heard more death threats against Rep. Grayson in Florida. Hey, I think he is awsome, which means the tea party will absolutely hate him. I don't see Democrats making death threats against Jim Demint or Michelle Bachman. That kind of uncivilized behaviour will be far worse than any scandal. Independent voters don't want to identify with people who have to resort to violence and intimidation, just because they disagree with a president's policies.

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melvin:

How many of you Republicans going to jump out the window when the GOP only wins 25 seats and 5 Senate seats.If the GOP don't win back Congress in November,they will never gain control of Congress again.USA Today reported last week 50 purple districts are going to become lean blue by 2014,and 20 lean red districts are going to become purple. Karl Rove told Fox News:When the Census figures are released next year, its not going to be good news for the GOP.

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tjampel:


CompCon:

"We experienced 2 back-to-back flukes with the Gallup poll and it looks like things are back to normal - until next week."

So, you consider this current R +5 result as "back to normal". Assuming you know anything about statistics what do you base this on, considering the fact that the mean for the past 5 months has been at parity. Just look at the chart on Gallup and you'll see this. There has only been I think one or two previous results showing Republicans up +5 or better, and, in each case that result quickly corrected itself.

This current result is far off the mean. What basis do you have to state or imply that the mean shifted to R +5 based solely on apples to apples (Gallup only) results?

What this result shows is that the past two results provide no evidence of any trend. Mark had a very good article here yesterday about this; he noted that there was no basis for the past two Gallup results in any of the other polls of the Generic and that we should wait. I said the same thing a few days earlier in one of my posts. That two results were inconclusive and that a third straight result would be sufficient to state a trend.

Now we have exactly one result swinging the other way and you're stating it's a new trend (it's not an old one...the old trend is parity for many months in a row and many thousand responses so, according to your faulty logic it must be a new one).

That makes your statement either idiotic or don't know much about statistics. I assume the latter.

As for the 8 point spread which gets you to R+13 that may be correct. I am not arguing that point. Gallup is moving to likely voters soon, so we'll find out what their screen is at that time.


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melvin:

If the GOP is so well out in front,why cant they raise money? The Democrats is out raising them by 25%.America is very apprehensive about the GOP regaining power.My best friend mom told me she is thinking about voting for the Republicans,but she is so afraid they're going to continue the Bush policies.

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Farleftandproud:

No, there were no flukes in the previous two polls, but if you look at the details, I think there were more Republicans polled this week and more Democrats the last two weeks. Gallup isn't always consistent with their formula.

The recent fox poll had more Republicans than Democrats polled which was clearly not accurate.

I predict that in the parts of the Country the GOP will do well are in places in the south and rural west, but unlike 1994, there were many more moderate Republicans in bluer districts. What happened was as the GOP got taken over with wing nuts and radicals, the moderates left the GOP.

I see a surge in NH, CO, and eventually IL for the Democrats and Pa will likely follow the closer we get to the election. Melvin, you are right that the GOP will be disappointed when they get the final results this Fall

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Fred:

farleftandproud:

you can't call the right evil. It's fine to call a party dumb, or misguided, but I believe most dems and republicans want to make our country better. There really is a difference of beliefs on either side of the isle when it comes to how to get that done. There are a lot of crooks on both sides of the isle, but that's what happens when people abuse power and think they can do whatever they want.

I remember when this site used to have only a few daily people who would civilly comment. Now the comments on this site are starting to equal the pathetic things people say on the political ticker on cnn.com (and this is a separate point.........not referring to you flap. don't take it personally)

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Now the comments on this site are starting to equal the pathetic things people say on the political ticker on cnn.com "

Unfortunately this is a phenomenon that affects most any site that has any sort of information about news and politics.

I see it kind of like online restaurant, hotel reviews, etc.. which I always take with a grain of salt. The most pissed off people are the most likely to make the effort to comment.

Complaining is so much easier than praise.

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Farleftandproud:

It just bugs me when the GOP complains all the time about liberals changing the consitution and trying to take away their guns, but decide to change the consitution on a age old 14th ammendment. Do conservatives like it if some gun control nut says we should change the second ammendment? Being constitutional means supporting it on the things you like as well as the things we don't like.

This white anger to blame immigrants, and allow humans to be rounded up, just isn't the America I want to live in.

You conservatives want your country back? I don't want a country that takes away our rights, changes our constitution, tries to repeal health care reform, and wants to consider policies of the Bush tax cuts.

Conservatives have warned us not to campaign against Bush, but how many Americans in the long run will really want us to return to the failed policies of the past? Perhaps Rasmussen and Fox will tell you anything that conservatives want to hear. I have more faith in my country than to believe that a majority of our citizens are this twisted as human beings.

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AlanSnipes:

Nobody posting here knows what is going to happen in November except this: Democrats will lose seats, whether they lose their majorities is open to question.
The campaign will be joined after Labor Day and we will see what happens.
However, for what it's worth, I believe that Democratic seats this year are located in more solidly Democratic districts than 1994, when many seats were in the racist Republican south.
So, I believe Democrats will hold their majorities.

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melvin:

When the Democrats won PA-12,it was like a funeral on Fox News,the Republican leaders was very shocked.The GOP thought PA-12 would send a message to the Democrats,but it sent a message to the Republicans,Rasmussen even had the GOP up 10% in the generic balloting at the time.

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Farleftandproud:

The 14th ammendment is what makes children born in the US naturalized citizens. Taking this right away will send the wrong signal to the world, that we are not a democracy. If it wasn't changed under Reagan, George W Bush, FDR, Truman, Nixon and others why should we change it now?

I support building a fence around the border and concrete immigration reform. Nevertheless, resorting to a change in the constitution like this is ridiculous.

In fact, as much as I disdained Bush as president, I may have been very critical about most of his decisions, but I never thought changing the constitution in any way is a good idea. I never did that, and I am a pretty radical left winged guy.

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AlanSnipes:

Nobody posting here knows what is going to happen in November except this: Democrats will lose seats, whether they lose their majorities is open to question.
The campaign will be joined after Labor Day and we will see what happens.
However, for what it's worth, I believe that Democratic seats this year are located in more solidly Democratic districts than 1994, when many seats were in the racist Republican south.
So, I believe Democrats will hold their majorities.

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melvin:

Farleft: We all know the Republican party is full of hypocrites,pathetic liars,and crazy people.If a Democrat like John Kerry would come out in tell the media he wants to do away with the 2nd amendment,the right-wingers and the GOP will go nuts,it would be all over the Major Media,so why the Major Media is ignoring what John Kyle and Lindsey Graham said?

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Field Marshal:

Statypolly.

Thanks for posting that article from American.com. Very interesting that the Dems are concentrated in such few districts when their talking point is that the Reps are only electable in the south.

IMO, the system itself is corrupt, because it seems to be that this kind of thing happens under either republican or democrat control.

Yes, and one party puts all of its trust in those same corrupt individuals and institutions while the other wants the individual citizens to be able to make the decision thats best for them. That's the difference.

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Farleftandproud:

You are right Melvin, and we need to spend our time campaigning and making calls for progressive candidates instead of feeding our poll addiction.

I have known conservatives, worked with them, and even tried to see through their eyes on many of the issues, they attack progressives for; I even tried to be one of them for a week, and spent time watching Fox, the 700 club, reading National Review and American Spectator. After a week, I could not take it anymore.

What I could understand from trying to see things through the eye of a conservative from these publications and tv, is they are great at feeding into people's emotions, and trust me, illegal immigration, tolerance for abortion, gun control and the concept that money is going from the pockets of hard working people to feed the welfare system, does get people fired up. This was before 9/11 and George w. bush. It was when Gingrich had just left congress.

Our country has tended to have the pioneer attitude on many topics, and the constitution presents a lot of rights that different people will interpret in a different way. My experiences of getting into the mind of a conservative was interesting, but over the years, with the Bush Tax cuts for the rich, Iraq, and now a complete switch for the GOP on to illegal immigration and trying to convince us that Bush's tax cuts will help the recession.

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Farleftandproud:

"Field Marshal:
Statypolly.

Thanks for posting that article from American.com. Very interesting that the Dems are concentrated in such few districts when their talking point is that the Reps are only electable in the south. "

I don't think that is true at all that the Reps are only electable in the south. I am working hard to keep seats in NH, and some nearby conservative parts of upstate, NY.

The GOP will likely retake seats in the south, the west, Great plains as well as IN and many battleground districts in the midwest. Dems have failed big time in SD, and ND in recent years. I do see some potential for the Dems in Colorado and even Montana.

I predict Dems will lose anywhere from 22-45 seats, but I think there will be grassroots attempts this year to expose many Republicans in battleground districts who may not lose this time around, but will lose in 2012 and 2014.

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Farleftandproud:

"Yes, and one party puts all of its trust in those same corrupt individuals and institutions while the other wants the individual citizens to be able to make the decision thats best for them. "

And why does one party have a clear agenda to change the consitution right now? Why is it that there is a party that wants to deny freedoms to Gay and lesbian rights, even civil unions? Why do they think it is alright that some states more than 30 percent of their residents are uninsured?

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Farleftandproud:

I watched an old World war 2 program about the trial of Herman Goehring, and after seeing a real nazi try to have a reasonable defense and the spin about "just obeying orders" seems a lot like the tolerance for torture in America.

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seg:

Aaron_in_TX:
Tsk! Tsk! Dems made hay over reps' alleged "culture of corruption." Now they are bent over the barrel looking anxiously over their shoulders. What goes around comes around.

For what it is worth, I will say again that dems are teetering on the edge of the abyss. They could windmill their arms and fall in the less bad direction and lose a bit less than a majority. It could happen. Or a butterfly could land on the wrong side and send them teetering to a historic a** whooping.

Things are more likely to get worse for dems than better because they have all of the public scrutiny. With total control (even nominal total control) comes all responsibility. When the pilot of the ship looks to be inebriated or confused, all of the passengers start looking wildly for a replacement. Who knows, maybe the pilot who was drunk yesterday is sober today?

Finally, I am waiting for someone to tell me the differences between Hoover's stubborn adherence to the received economic wisdom of his time and Obama's stubborn adherence to the received liberal economic wisdom of the benefits of continuing government spending for stimulus and (to me) heavy-handed interventions in the economy. As an engineer, I have trouble understanding the deep wisdom of progressive pundits. In my ignorance, I bitterly cling to the eternal verities of engineering: "if you keep failing or barely succeeding, your solution sucks."

Don't hunker down and keep repeating the same things. Go back to square one and think about your assumptions. Perhaps one of them is incorrect. If Obama does not do this and change course, he risks joining Hoover in infamy as an idiot who stuck to the poor economic advice he was getting. It has been an unfair and inaccurate depiction of Hoover. Tough weenies. Or his political luck prior to election could return as managerial luck, and the economy could turn around, we start bringing down the deficit, we get out of Afpak without enormous levels of blood and treasure. It could happen, couldn't it?

Finally, there is little doubt that dems will no longer have effective control of either house, whether reps take the House or not. That being the case, the even uglier than normal way the dems have used their majority has poisoned the well. Yes, reps had used some of the same gutless tactics, but never for important measures with such opposition from the other side or the public.

Obama's endless sophistry will also come back to haunt him. He will not do a Reagan because he has not DONE a Reagan prior to becoming unpopular. At the time, it would have been difficult to claim that no one was really sure what was important to Reagan and what was not. He was straight-forward. In the long run, straight forward and human beats detached, elusive, and glib.

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gabe:

"And, for what it's worth, I still think that too much is being made about the enthusiasm gap. People vote out of a sense of duty. It doesn't matter if they're happy to do it or not. Unenthusiastic Dems WILL turn out in November..."

No they will not and you know it. That is why even if Republicans are tied on the generic ballot among voters on election day they typically do better than the polling suggested. The reason is that Democrats WILL NOT turn out if unexcited. This election has had the makings of a wave election in everything except a scandal and now it has occurred two-fold with Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. Democrats are in trouble and while next week the polls may settle down the enthusiasm gap is what is most important. Even if only 10% more Republicans show up than Democrats to the polls and independents back the GOP lets say 55%-45% we are talking likely a 30-40 seat swing in the House.

As for the flucuations in the polling numbers it is likely due to the number of events that have happened over the past couople of weeks. The president's numbers have tanked, FRR passed, Rangel's ethic violations became known and the Democratic caucus is fracturing just as GOP candidates start hitting up the trial hard. Not good news come Nov. for Dems.

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StatyPolly:

Hey FM, the third and fourth maps down this page really illustrate the story of Dem concentration.

http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/

Who is your regional party? I always said that if certain 4-5 counties around the country become a little less blue, Dems will never win another nationwide election. Evah!

And I am sure we have all seen what a 50.7% GOP win looks like.

http://images.newsmax.com/misc/2004_results_by_county.jpg

I bet Nov 2010 will be redder than that even.

A bit of useless trivia (at the risk of sounding repetitiously redundant): Up until about late 70's early 80's I think, US media used the colors in reverse. Red for Dems and Blue for GOP. Then they got concerned about associating Dems with red commies, and changed the narrative.

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Chantal:

"And, for what it's worth, I still think that too much is being made about the enthusiasm gap. People vote out of a sense of duty. It doesn't matter if they're happy to do it or not. Unenthusiastic Dems WILL turn out in November..."

Interesting theory. So when people talk about "turnout being low" it's due to unforeseen road closures blocking the polling locations? And "get out the vote" efforts are actually post-modern aerobics?

Or perhaps you should think about it this way: it's 5:30 pm on election day, you just finished 8 hours at work, and you're pretty tired. You have a choice, will you go wait in a long line to vote for a candidate/party you are not enthusiastic about, or will you just go home?

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Folks, these numbers do not suggest a close race for the House.

These numbers do not indicate a 1994 level wave election gain of over 50 seats.

These numbers are showing a 1932 level tsunami wave election pick up over 80 seats with the Dems playing the role of the Party of Hoover.

Crazy? Consider these facts:

The GOP has never anything close to these congressional generic numbers of +5 among registered voters and around +8 among likely voters in the history of modern polling. As FarLeft observed, the Gallup generic was tied before the 1994 wave pickup of 54 seats. What does the shift look like at GOP +5?

Approval for Congress is at its lowest in modern polling history.

The level of support to reelect one's own congress critter is the lowest in modern polling history. Dem Stan Greenberg did a poll of 60 Dem and 10 GOP swing districts for NPR and found that the desire to fire one's local congress critter was concentrated entirely in the Dem districts. Every polled GOP district was safe.

NRO Campaign Spot has been tracking the polling in individual congressional districts. The GOP has released nearly 20 internal polls showing solid leads to complete routs in even "safe" Dem districts. Michael Barone just published a piece noting that he predicted in July 1994 that the GOP would take the House on the basis of only three such polls. The Dems have not released a single internal poll to counter this impression of a complete rout. Not one.

I am unsure how far back they have been polling enthusiasm differentials, but I am willing to wager a guess that Gallup's 2-1 GOP advantage is their best since pollsters started asking the question. What's worse is that Indis are also enthused and they are breaking to the GOP.

Here is the kicker. Last spring, Gallup published a chart based upon their historical data projecting the range of seats retained by Dems at each percentile of support. The bottom number on that chart was 45% support and the Dems are now at 43%. If you extrapolate downward, the Dems will only retain a bit over 160 seats at their current 43% level of support, a loss of over 80 seats.

While things can always change in politics, these numbers have been getting steadily worse over the first half of 2010. Short of an al Qeada attack rallying the nation around Obama or all the TV networks running a video of the entire GOP leadership drowning puppies, does anyone see an event which will change this political dynamic? I can't.

Hang on. I have a feeling we may be witnessing history.

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@Bart DePalma: Your post is not indicative of anything, except your excitement about a 1-week Gallup swing that makes no sense. You cite the 43% Dem vote in today's Gallup poll. How about the 48% and 49% Dem vote in the 2 previous weeks?

As for enthusiasm, that is of course a totally irrelevant statistic. For example, Republicans who are enthusiastic and overconfident are more likely to stay home and not bother voting. Anyone ever thought of that? At the same time, Democrats who are afraid of the GOP winning will come out in droves to make sure it doesn't happen, even if they're not enthusiastic about their candidate!

Those two scenarios are actually the more likely outcome of the so-called "enthusiasm gap" than what the conventional wisdom assumes.

The biggest indicator of what will actually happen in November is probably the stock market -- not unemployment or GDP. Today, the market was up 200 points! That bodes well for Democrats. From 10/1/93 to 10/1/94 there was essentially no movement in the stock market, with the DJIA going from 3,754 to 3,834, and Democrats suffered from the stagnant economy. However, from 10/1/2009 to today, the market is already up about 3%. If it continues to rally another 7-10% through the fall, which today's rally seems to indicate, the public will realize that the policies of the Democratic Party are good for the economy and there will be minimal Democratic losses in the November election.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Oh, I just love the sound of outlandishness in the early morning.

"These numbers are showing a 1932 level tsunami wave election pick up over 80 seats with the Dems playing the role of the Party of Hoover."

The tsunami actually occurred over several elections 1930-1936, with 1932 being the worst.

"Approval for Congress is at its lowest in modern polling history."

For one, 1932 was a presidential election, if you want to compare Hoover to Obama at this point, a better comparison might be 1930. But more importantly, the current economic situation is nothing like the Great Depression was and the culture & demographics of the country was considerably different then. Plus there was no generic polling then.

Key word here: "modern." 1932 doesn't fit in a comparison with the modern era. Since 1948, "wave" midterm elections have happened with less and less frequency. Prior to WWII they happened more often. The house is simply more entrenched. I'll consider a "wave" to be an election in which a party experiences a 30+ seat swing in the house (arguably 30 seats is not a wave).

Since 1900: 1904, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1920, 1922, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1938, 1942, 1946, 1948, 1958, 1964, 1966, 1974, 1980, 1994, 2006.

Notice it happened 14 times before 1950, 7 times after 1950. 14 to 7.

Increase the "wave" to 40 seats and that leaves you with these:

1904, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1920, 1922, 1930, 1932, 1938, 1942, 1946, 1948, 1958, 1966, 1974, 1994. 12 to 4.

Increase that to 50, a "tsunami:"

1910, 1912, 1914, 1920, 1922, 1930, 1932, 1938, 1946, 1948, 1994. 10 to 1.

See the pattern here? 60+ seat gains just don't happen anymore, the last was 1948.

It should be noted that 1912 was when the house was set at 435 seats, so 30-40 gains prior to that year were more significant and probably were equivalent to 50-70 seat gains.

Generic ballot polling goes back to 1950, but most people's analysis seems to hinge on the 1994 result. I'm not sure why 1958, 1966, or 1974 are not analyzed. The GOP led it all of 3 times: 1950, 1994, 2002, and now 2010. The GOP gained 28, 54, and 8 seats in those years respectively, so there's a wide range of what could happen in 2010 based on past results. There's not much of a relationship between generic polling and seat gain. If there was, 2002 would have been much stronger for republicans. The only way to demonstrate one is to overemphasize 1994, which almost every analyst does. We need to accept that 1994 was the exception of the last 60 years, not the template.

My personal feeling is that the generic ballot means even less now than it once did. As the parties are becoming more ideologically homogenous, people are more willing to indicate their "correct" preference, so the overreporting of dem preference is not as pronounced.

"If you extrapolate downward, the Dems will only retain a bit over 160 seats"

Dems have not been under 200 seats in the house since 1928, and republicans have not held more than 232 seats except for the 2 year period from 1946-48. Good luck. I'll buy you a sandwich if that does indeed happen.

1982 and 2002 are the elections I feel should be looked at. Reagan in 1982 was experiencing much of what Obama's experiencing now. In 2002 both parties had similarly high favorable rates which resulted in modest gains for the R's. Today, both parties have nearly identical low favorability. THAT's unprecedented as far as I know and may have the effect of muting any potential wave. Republicans seem to think their own low favorables don't matter, but I think they do.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Finally, I am waiting for someone to tell me the differences between Hoover's stubborn adherence to the received economic wisdom of his time and Obama's stubborn adherence to the received liberal economic wisdom of the benefits of continuing government spending for stimulus and (to me) heavy-handed interventions in the economy."

The right tries to compare Obama to every unfavorable historical figure in the book from Stalin to Hitler to Hoover to Carter. Granted Hitler comparisons are inevitable in political hyperbole post WWII, but that and most comparisons are just asinine. Most comparisons and rankings of presidents are indeed ridiculous, since they should be evaluated in the context of their own time, not in the context of others. It's the same kind of stuff the right doesn't like, ie: disparaging some of the founding fathers for owning slaves.

That said, there is little similar about Hoover and Obama. They were very different men. Hoover was an orphan, self-made businessman, considered eminently qualified for the presidency when he ran for election, not charismatic - disdained campaigning, a Quaker.

Obama is none of those things, except maybe a similar issue with estrangement from the parents, but Obama's mother and grandparents provided a more stable family environment than Hoover's caretakers.

An example of a big policy difference: Obama is receptive to free trade agreements like NAFTA. Hoover signed into law the Smoot-Hawley tariff that severely curtailed trade.

Balanced budgets were the accepted "economic wisdom" of the time. Hoover's problem was not so much stubborn insistence on one particular course of action. He tried various schemes to try and stimulate economic growth through business loans, incentives, etc... that did not fit conservative orthodoxy. He was much more interventionist than his predecessors.

His problem was that he seemingly did not care about people's suffering and profoundly refused to directly aid them. Ie: he said "no one is actually starving... the hobos are better fed today than they have ever been." The bonus army fiasco in 1932 cemented that reputation, fair or not (it was unfair...he did care and worked till 3am 6 nights a week trying to devise a solution to unemployment - his wife said she barely saw him in 31-32).

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StatyPolly:

"Republicans who are enthusiastic and overconfident are more likely to stay home and not bother voting. Anyone ever thought of that?"

I have. It's the bandwagon effect. Human nature. People feel good about taking part in winning and not good from losing. And, of course, enthusiasm is a tried and true indicator of turnout. GOP voters are angry and anxious to get to the polls, while Dems are at best confused, at worst dejected.

And the reason the market is up, is the same reason it was going down most of 08. Markets move a few months ahead of anticipated events.

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StatyPolly:

Aaron, that's great history on House elections, but the current math is just tough to argue with.

Calling certain number of seats gained from previous House a "wave" can be deceptive. Can something be called a wave if it still leaves the "waving" party in minority? If GOP were down by 61 seats and only won 60, still remaining in minority, is that a wave?

For GOP not to have one of those rare big waves, one would have to argue that either all the polls are wrong, or that GOP can win the popular vote and still not win even half the seats that are up for election. Which are all 435. Neither scenario is even remotely realistic. All polls are not wrong, nor is it possible for GOP to get more combined votes than Dems, and still not win the majority of seats.

Of course three months is plenty of time for polls to change. That is a plausible scenario.

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Rockym92:

Aaron, thank you for setting the record straight in a much more in depth fashion than i was going to.

I agree that 1982 should be the election for comparison and not 1994, although dems had far more seats already in their control than the GOP do now. Dems in 1994 were completely taken by surprise as there was no talk of the GOP possibly being able to take the house until mid-summer that year. Dems this year have had ample time to prepare.

Like it or not, Bush will be in the back of alot of voters minds this November. His deeply unpopular final years are still going to play a factor. Bush Sr. was not nearly as divisive or unpopular as Jr. and the voters had just come off of 12 years of fairly popular republican presidencies. There was no problem in giving them another shot. The GOP now is even more unpolular than the dems are. That has to play some role.

In the last 7 or 8 generic ballot measures from various pollsters, the GOP have had a moderate to generous lead (something I have never seen before). They are certainly going to gain their share of seats. 80 seats though? Not a chance. If you're setting the bar that high, you are going to be extremelty disappointed. As Aaron stated, it's been over 80 years the dems were under 200 seats in the house. That fact alone should give you pause.

If the GOP wins any more than 50 seats I will be positively stunned, though I'll be equally stunned if they win less than 25.

I'd love to see a gain of 60+ seats in the house and 8-10 in the senate, but it just isn't going to happen. I'll be doing my part in voting GOP (malone or perry) in MA-10, but alas, I am only 1 vote.

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Bart DePalma:

nelcon1551:

@Bart DePalma: Your post is not indicative of anything, except your excitement about a 1-week Gallup swing that makes no sense.

I cited several polls. You can see the trend in the Pollster interactive chart for the congressional generic.

You cite the 43% Dem vote in today's Gallup poll. How about the 48% and 49% Dem vote in the 2 previous weeks?

The brief Dem bounce was an outlier not shown on any other poll and disappeared rapidly. As Gallup noted in its commentary, its polling is back to where it has been for most of the year.

As for enthusiasm, that is of course a totally irrelevant statistic.

Past voting and current enthusiasm is the basis for every likely voter model.

The biggest indicator of what will actually happen in November is probably the stock market -- not unemployment or GDP. Today, the market was up 200 points! That bodes well for Democrats.

I heard it was the result of the baseball All Star game. Keep hope alive!

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CompCon:

@jack: Who cares about generic ballot? Give me seat projections."

Gallup has a good article from last November. http://www.gallup.com/poll/124010/generic-ballot-provides-clues-2010-vote.aspx

According to their matrix, if the democrats only get 45% of the vote like this poll would indicate by the time you change to a likely voter model, the democrats could end up with as low as 175 seats. That would be a republican pickup of 124 seats. The best case scenario for democrats at 45% is a loss of 80 seats.

The democrats are guaranteed to lose the house if they get less than 47% of the vote. They could lose the house with a vote as high as 49% depending on which races are more vulnerable.

So Sabato has put his best case liberal spin on this and predicts a 32 seat loss. Pollster.com currently shows a composite lead by republicans of 4.4 points which would put the projected democrat vote percentage at 47.8% - if all of the remaining undecided split evenly. According to the gallup matrix that shows that the democrats would lose the house. In a worst case scenario, they could lose 70 seats with 47.8% of the vote. Best case is they could lose as few as 30.

So there you have it. According to the gallup matrix and the current polls, the republicans are projected to take the house.

@tjampel: "That makes your statement either idiotic or don't know much about statistics. I assume the latter. "

You know what they say about assuming, don't you?

Things are back to normal with the gallup poll. They have been swinging between Rep + 4 and even for months now. For two weeks they swung to dem + 6 & 4. Those appear to be flukes - statistical noise. They are back to Rep +4. That's back to their normal trend. They will probably keep bouncing between even and +5R until they switch to their likely voter model next month.

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HookedOnPolls:

This con is psyched to vote this Nov!! There's a conservative Dem in the House that I am going to gleefully vote against.

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jack:

Compson said, "So Sabato has put his best case liberal spin on this and predicts a 32 seat loss.

If by "liberal" you mean being the most accurate pronosticator by Fox News as well as CNBC and Pew in 2006, then your definition of "liberal" is odd indeed.

Here's more: In 2008, "Crystal Ball also accurately predicted 100% of all 35 Senate races, and 11 gubernatorial races correctly."

Liberal=accurate?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Sabato

____________________

tjampel:

compcon

"Things are back to normal with the gallup poll. They have been swinging between Rep + 4 and even for months now. For two weeks they swung to dem + 6 & 4. Those appear to be flukes - statistical noise. They are back to Rep +4. That's back to their normal trend. They will probably keep bouncing between even and +5R until they switch to their likely voter model next month."

How can you look at the last 4 or 5 months of Gallup generic polls...only Gallup...and say that R+4 is their normal trend. What are you smoking? Just take the last 10 results and add them and divide by ten and tell me what you get

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CompCon:

tjampel,

Look at the chart yourself: http://www.gallup.com/poll/127439/Election-2010-Key-Indicators.aspx

I said it was back to normal. That's what I meant when I said it again in the second post. I shouldn't have used the word trend.

They are presently at the top end of their standard variance and they fell outside of standard variance the previous 2 weeks.

This is not the first time this year they have shown republicans up by 3 or 4. Since March, the democrats have never held a lead except for the 2 previous weeks. So this week is much more "normal" than the those strange 2 weeks that showed an anomaly.

But if you want to use the word trend, then gallup has shown a trend up for republicans and down for demorcats over the past year. So a week like this one that shows the republicans over the democrats is much closer to the trend than last week.

You guys are really touchy here. These are just polls - not life and death statistics.

____________________

Bart DePalma:

Aaron_in_TX:

BD: "These numbers are showing a 1932 level tsunami wave election pick up over 80 seats with the Dems playing the role of the Party of Hoover."

For one, 1932 was a presidential election, if you want to compare Hoover to Obama at this point, a better comparison might be 1930. But more importantly, the current economic situation is nothing like the Great Depression was and the culture & demographics of the country was considerably different then. Plus there was no generic polling then.

Agreed. I am only using 1932 as a comparison of scale, not for causation.

Key word here: "modern." 1932 doesn't fit in a comparison with the modern era. Since 1948, "wave" midterm elections have happened with less and less frequency. Prior to WWII they happened more often...

Increase that to 50, a "tsunami:" 1910, 1912, 1914, 1920, 1922, 1930, 1932, 1938, 1946, 1948, 1994. 10 to 1. See the pattern here? 60+ seat gains just don't happen anymore, the last was 1948.

That is why these numbers are so stunning. Incumbency appears to be the kiss of death, not a guarantee of reelection.

Generic ballot polling goes back to 1950, but most people's analysis seems to hinge on the 1994 result. I'm not sure why 1958, 1966, or 1974 are not analyzed. The GOP led it all of 3 times: 1950, 1994, 2002, and now 2010. The GOP gained 28, 54, and 8 seats in those years respectively, so there's a wide range of what could happen in 2010 based on past results.

You can find the Gallup historical congressional generic chart here. The current GOP lead is the largest in Gallup history going back to 1950. 1950 was Dem+8 while 1994 and 2002 were essentially ties.

Over the past few months apart from the recent temporary Dem jump, the Gallup polling has jumped between GOP+6 and a tie. The rest of the generic polling has now caught up to the GOP+5 range. The LV polling is ranging between GOP+8-10.

There's not much of a relationship between generic polling and seat gain.

The Gallup chart I provided in my first post would appear to disagree.

My personal feeling is that the generic ballot means even less now than it once did. As the parties are becoming more ideologically homogenous...

The voters view of the two parties as essentially the same vanished when the Dems governed from the hard left. See the recent Pew Research polling.

BD: "If you extrapolate downward, the Dems will only retain a bit over 160 seats"

Dems have not been under 200 seats in the house since 1928, and republicans have not held more than 232 seats except for the 2 year period from 1946-48. Good luck.

That is correct. That is why the Gallup chart bottomed out at 45% generic support for the Dems. We are in new territory here as the Dems keep plumbing down to around 44 to 43%.

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CompCon:

Interesting article, Field Marshal. This seems to be a pattern of ex-members of the Clinton administration nibbling away at the aura of Obama. I'm beginning to wonder if the rumblings of a Hillary challenge of Obama in the primary in 2012 might be gaining some teeth.

Reich seems to be laying the impending implosion of the democrats in congress right at Obama's feet. He doesn't blame congress for anything. Interesting indeed.

____________________

Field Marshal:

Compcon,

I would agree. If the GOP makes very large gains in Nov, the economy continues to be weak, and Obama continues to show is weak leadership, i think its a forgone conclusion that Hillary jumps in to the Dem primary.

Bart,

Excellent analysis. Welcome to the site by the way.

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seg:

Wow! Great thread with many cogent observations from both sides. Bravo!

Aaron: I am not saying their biographies or personalities are similar (Hoover was quite a guy with real accomplishments in several arenas). I am saying that Obama could get tagged, just as Hoover was. I doubt very seriously that Hoover (as opposed to one loudmouth in his adm) did not care about what was happening to the unemployed, yet "Hoovervilles" were named after him. I am saying that Obama is detached, which can easily and perhaps correctly be taken as self-absorbed and indifferent to the suffering of others. Likewise, he IS inflexible, just as Hoover was ACCUSED of being (unfairly, to a degree).

To me, Obama makes head fakes toward moderate and conservative positions, but other than charter schools (which is a big exception), he doesn't put any muscle behind them. Show me the free trade agreements he has put muscle behind.

It is understandable that dems cannot conceive of the possibility of reps winning at the same rates that have been routine to dems prior to the 1990s. As you say, it has not happened since 1928, though there have been some big turn arounds, though from a very low base and not for long.

However, the past is a good guide to the future until it isn't. It ultimately will let you down. There is no logical reason reps cannot have very large majorities, whether it happens this time or not. It probably will not happen this time unless some daring rep finds the key to winning Latino votes, which I think can be done.

Furthermore, we face the possibility of more thrilling developments in our fiscal picture. In addition to the huge deficit, banks still hold huge portfolios of bad loans, despite Uncle Treasury taking a trillion dollars of them off their hands. In addition, Fan and Fred have well over a trillion in bad mortgage securities and are churning out more of them at rates even higher than 2 years ago, mainly because they have now usurped 90% of the market.

We still have an adversary holding over a trillion of our debts plus Japan, a country rapidly approaching a meltdown, holding a somewhat smaller amount.

We have a misadventure in AfPak. Pakistan that could turn into a debacle in several exciting ways (e.g., decapitation of leadership in Af or Pak or both). Also, although Obama dismissed the rising death toll in Iraq, the political turmoil there could go south if we are unlucky.

My point is that Obama and the dems have many, many ways that things could go very, very bad before 2012. Any one of them could make a worthy addendum to the March of Folly (Tuchman), as the public will surely recognize.

I think the public is going to realize that Bush and friends actually did very well managing our foreign policy, at least compared to what we are seeing now. Other than Iraq, which Bush turned into a military success (and HE deserves the credit; he was the indispensible person who found military leaders with a good plan and backed them in the face of awesome personal attacks and political peril), the only real criticism was offending the French and Germans. Let's face it, they have negligible military strength and a large hostile group of Muslims within their borders. They correctly read the situation and cower in fear, which they cover up by lecturing the big brother who will save their a*ses, no matter how feckless they are. They were and are useless to us as allies. Note that Obama pretty much ignores them now that their value as campaign props is gone.

In the meantime, Obama has managed to earn contempt with our ADVERSARIES, Russia, China, and Iran, not to mention pipsqueek irritants like Chavez.

And guess what: these days Obama's best marks with the public usually are on foreign policy. That is because the consequences of his truly stupid foreign policy are waiting for the best opportunity to strike.

PS If you haven't read March of Folly, you should, whether you are conservative or liberal.

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seg:

Another comment on Obama agonistes:
I recognize that Reagan and Clinton had similar polls at this point and that Reagan had even worse economic figures (though never forget that he first killed 12% inflation then produced very high growth rates).

I also recognize that stubbornly holding to your vision can be lauded as greatness. The trick is for your vision to lead to success, not just by your measure but by both voters and history. Had the economy righted itself, Hoover could have been recognized today for his progressive policies and for refusing to panic in the face of a depression.

Bush held stubbornly to his view that Iraq was important and winnable. He proved the last part was right, at the least.

If Obama persists in his leftist (in the public's view) policies and makes them work well, then he will be lauded by everyone but Republican partisans. Like other conservatives here, I think that if he is "successful" it will ultimately be bad for the country in terms of freedom and initiative.

In my view, it is much more likely that it is true both that his vision would produce a soft tyranny (a nanny state) but will also produce fiscal disaster at worst and long-term economic stagnation at best.

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