Rich Galen

Dear Mr. Mullings:

Are you still claiming that the GOP will hold onto the US House, or have you finally gotten back on your meds?

  • You know? I'm glad you asked that. You would have to be living in Kazakhstan watching the evening news hosted by Borat Sagdiyev to believe Tuesday is going to be a glorious night for the Republican Party.

  • The breathless predictions in the Popular Press this past weekend in trying to convince us that election day will not just leave the GOP as the minority party, but as a minor party may be, as they say, premature.
  • There's a reason they actually hold the elections.
  • While you might not have seen this on the front page of your local paper, the Pew Research Center for People and the Press released a poll on Saturday which showed the generic vote among likely voters has closed to 47% - 43% in favor of Democrats.
  • The specific question was:
  • "If the 2006 elections for U.S. Congress were being held TODAY, would you vote for the Republican Party's candidate or the Democratic Party's candidate for Congress in your district?"

    NOTE: To try and get as clear a result as possible, the order of the parties (Republican or Democrat) were reversed for half the sample)

  • The Pew polls are not known as a Republican-leaning activities. In fact, there have been complaints among Republicans that Pew tends toward samples which lean Democratic.
  • In this poll, which included 2,368 registered voters of whom 1,795 were deemed "likely" voters - which are the only ones we care about with 36 hours to go.
  • The party split in the survey was 34% Republican, 34% Democrat and 27% independent.
  • The generic vote in the Pew poll in September was 40-53 Democrat among likely voters.
  • In the October poll the difference had narrowed from minus 13 to minus 11, statistically insignificant.
  • But last week the deficit in the generic vote narrowed to just FOUR percentage points.
  • It is an axiom that Republican candidates for Congress tend to outperform the pre-election polling as to generic vote by 3-5 percentage points. If that holds with this latest survey, the GOP might play to a draw on Tuesday.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at