Generic Democrat Up By 23(!!)%

We can argue about whether the concept really has any meaning (I think it’s a very overrated measure), but it probably is, at a minimum, an indication of very, very strong voter hostility towards the ruling party:

Democrats had a 23-point lead over Republicans in every group of people questioned — likely voters, registered voters and adults — on which party’s House candidate would get their vote. That’s double the lead Republicans had a month before they seized control of Congress in 1994 and the Democrats’ largest advantage among registered voters since 1978.

This is to be expected in the first post-Foley voting, perhaps; and I still maintain that by the time the ballots are cast, the Foley effect will have largely evaporated. 

Nevertheless, let us not put our heads in the sand.  We have to face the fact that it is a very real possibility that we are headed for a drubbing. 

I fear for our country, and I hope my readers from the left will believe me when I say that I’m not making a partisan statement.  I fear that a Democratic Congress will make an all-out effort to withdraw from Iraq, and shut the door prematurely on a situation that might yet turn around with more troops.

I fear that a Democratic Congress will pull back on our techniques to fight terror, such as the President’s warrantless surveillance, and will try to water down the Patriot Act.

I fear that a Democratic Congress will not be able to resist the pent-up rage that it has towards the Republicans and this President, and will seek to censure or impeach the President at a time when our international prestige surely needs bolstering.

I fear Charles Rangel as a Committee Chair.

In short, I think a Democratic-led Congress will be an even bigger disaster than the current disastrous Congress is.  The President will have to use every trick in the book (national addresses, more press conferences, personnel shakeups, etc.) to seize the initiative, because, if the Democrats do seize Congress, the next two years are going to be a challenge such as he’s never seen (and this has hardly been an uneventful presidency)…

66 comments to Generic Democrat Up By 23(!!)%

  • mtl

    “Cunningham is in jail. DeLay is under indictment. Ney is on his way to jail. Burns and several other Republican House members are under investigation. All this under a Republican DOJ.”

    your last sentence there seems to undercut you theory. Apparently the gop does eat their own.

    Still trying to grasp why Burns is in the low 30′s on approval, but running close with Tester.

    Same as dewine. You’d think if there was a groundswell of support for democrats, they would be easily over 50%. What should scare you about these polls is the number of undecided. Up until 04, the trend was for undecideds to break to the challenger. 06 has a different flavor. If I got a telephone call asking me if I support the gop, my answer would be ‘no’.

    I’m just not seeing anybody who is drawing in excess of 50%, which is in stark contrast to the 60% favoring democrats from the above cited poll.

    Put me in a booth, and guess which lever I pull. “Undecided” are non-committed, but most likely non-committed conservatives. I have a feeling that the advantage is held by the gop-rove just has to make them decide.

    Raising taxes, immediate withdrawal from Iraq are two realities that are going to make people’s minds up. Rove doesn’t even have to play with the nation’s fears, just the gops.

  • JAY

    mark…c’mon. “…hatred of George W. Bush has left the realm of the rational and become a fetish…” you could not have sat and typed that without realizing how identical it is to the atmoshpere during the clinton administration. in fact as you well know that hatred became so robust that the current administration based many of their strategies on ABC…Anything But Clinton. This of course led them to ignore warnings on al-queda, which allowed 9.11 to happen, and to drop agreements with N. Korea, which has now gotten us to another security crisis. i’m not saying the dem’s would have done any better…look…there isn’t a single political leader in this country with any vision or imagination or even (seemingly) any real intelligence. but the system, any system, thrives with competition…and whithers under domination. i for one don’t think we can take much more whithering.

  • JAY, I don’t deny hatred of Clinton was a fetish, too…

  • peteathome

    As an independent, I think it’s a very good idea to change out the majority party fairly regularly. Anybody who takes the time to read history will note that leaving one party in charge too long results in corruption and a focus on staying in power rather than what’s good for America.

    As to the dire predictions of what the Dems will do if they take the House, nonsense. It’s true that some of the more extreme sorts are in power, but that’s because the party has no real power to exert at the moment. Once they do, there will be a shake up, just like the Repubs had when they took power.

    Most Dems are centrists, in fact they are a lot more centrist then the current Republican crop.

    While the trends look very good for the Dems right now, they have shown a great ability to snatch defeat fromt he jaws of victory. If the tables were turned, and it was the Republicans in the minority party, I’d say their take over was a slam dunk. Not sure with the Dems.

  • mtl

    worth noting that in the red states that the dems hope to gain, the numbers that strikes me is

    45.7%. This is the actual average support that the democratic candidates have. Still trying to square that with the 60% national trend. The gop in those seats, defending?

    42.6%. The actual variance is about 3%. Note the average undecided-11.7%. While this is in variance to the generic poll showing only 5% undecided. If 60% of the undecided are conservatives refusing to publicly endorse the gop, but remain committed to voting for the lesser of two evils, then the polls the dems are smoking are pretty much shagweed.

    If rove engineers a 5 pt swing, this enchilada is cooked. I don’t see how the dems can steer their own ship foward, but the possiblites remain endless for Rove.

  • mtl

    “Most Dems are centrists, in fact they are a lot more centrist then the current Republican crop.”

    Trying to reconcile that with Pelosi, Dean, Conyers, and Rangel representing leadership.

    I won’t throw Reid in with that basket, he has been an effective opposition leader, and wish the gop had a guy with his talent.

  • Jesus protect us from accountability!

  • Jesus protect us from accountability!

  • Halloween must be near, the living dead are swarming Mark’s site. Not you Peter or Fargus, but where did the rest of these goobers come from, if not the grave?

  • mtl

    I alluded to an earlier poll which shows that ‘only’ 9% favor sending more troops.

    These people are likely at odds with the congress, and do not approve of their handling of Iraq. The big question though:

    Who are these people, who disapprove of the congress’ handling of Iraq (for failing to send in more troops NOW) going to support? It comes down to ‘cut and run’ v ‘finish the job’. It would be a ‘specific’ response to a generic question. How much of the 11.7% undecided are the 9% who want more troops sent?

    If it helps, I still won’t be voting, unless democrats can convince me that my ‘protest abstention’ will be lost in the shuffle. Advertising a landslide, as they did in 04, will allow me to reevaluate. I still don’t see it though.

  • peteathome

    mtl – my point about the party leadership is that it can deflect from the true position of a party when that party is out of power. They can’t do much good or harm, so the most vocal ones rise to the top. Once they are back in power, the leadership has to deal with the reality of the party. Typically, there is a shake up in fast order. Pilosi et al are not representative of the party. The same thing happened when the Republicans gained power.

    As to the polls, the way I read them is that most Americans do not want a pullout from Iraq. But they do want a change of direction. Which may require a change of leadership.

  • mtl

    The same problem with portraying/exploiting the percieved weaknesses of bush are manifesting themselves in regards to congress.

    Bush as evil manipulative genius runs against bush as the clueless leader. I would have advised going with the latter, but in trying to have both slices of the pie, the arguments undercut each other.

    Fastfoward to this years election:
    GOP has lost their way v. this country is in love with the democratic party. Pick one, I suggest the former, but in emphasizing the latter, it diminshes the effect on the conservative base. Refusal to vote was once seen as a protest, but it is being twisted by the media into a sign of democratic support. If the media is successful in their attempt to portray the dems as being the party of ‘appeal’, it will reinvigorate the gop base, and undercut their reasoning for staying home.

    The dems are on a tightrope of which way to play it, but the media keeps pulling on the rope to show how ‘skillful’ the dems are. Try not to fall off.

  • mtl


    so Rangel will not be chair of house ways and means, dean will be thrown out as dnc chair, pelosi will not be speaker of the house, conyers will not head the judicary…

    if the dems win?

    You go to war with the leaders you have.

  • mtl

    a bit of advice to the gop congress:

    announce that regardless of the election outcome, every leadership position will be reevaluated, and a new vote for various leadership will commence on Nov 8. Their job, aside from watching Rove’s commercials and repeating the phrases, is to portray themselves as contrite and wanting to shake things up among themselves.

    Hastert should be openly pushing this to make it appear that they are willing to police themselves in regards to policy and they are willing to live with the vote amongst themselves. The best thing the gop could do, is offer a person in the gop willing to compete for the leadership who will reinvigorate the party and their commitment to fiscal conservatism.

  • peteathome

    My guess is that Dean will leave, Pelosi will not be elected as Speaker nor as Majority Leader, the rest will stay as head of their committees but will moderate their positions as they will have to answer to the rest of the Democratic Congress.

    If the Democrats win the House, whoever is chosen as Speaker and Majority Leader and as committee heads, will have to toe the line a bit more than they are now. Or the whole majority will decend into chaos – actually, that’s another possible outcome, no?

  • This is a dubious number – people don’t elect dems or repubs to congress, they elect that guy who is running in their district. Of course, if that guy is standing next to President Bush at a fundraiser, he’s probably toast.

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