Mixed Messages: Are We Dead or Not?

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Oct 24, 2006 6:27 PM

Yo, and I'm mixin' 'em. I got two turntables and a microphone.

We're rebounding. There's a tide a-turning! Leon Wolf cites the Tom Reynolds race, in which Reynolds has regained the lead. Senate?

The most recent Rasmussen poll ($) shows that Burns has closed the gap on Tester to 48-46...Also, the Maryland Senate race has really tightened up, and the Democrats are going to have to spend probably more than they would like in the last two weeks to keep this seat. Also, the most recent poll in Missouri (Rasmussen) shows Talent with a lead, and things were a toss-up in TN before Harold Ford's weekend meltdown. I think we hold at least TN, MO and MT at the end of the day. Even Lincoln Chafee is showing signs of life, coming in less than five points behind in two recent polls (Fleming and R.I. College).

Jay Cost casts a skeptic's eye on the prediction of a Republican "meltdown" in the second- and third-tier House races:

Think of it this way. The top-tier races feature loads of money being spent. This money serves as an anchor that keeps voter opinions from drifting with the media tide. So, they were the least likely to change. In races where the candidates have not been as active, voters are still more inclined to go with the media flow. Hence, the decline. Insofar as Republican incumbents start spending money to anchor these voters -- those numbers will change, especially in light of the fact that Democratic challengers in those races tend to be under-funded and therefore unable to fully counteract incumbent campaign communications.

Jay Cost, having been no less than THE MAN in 2004, holds some sway with me.

John Hawkins spots the most competitive races, and sees the Burns momentum, too. He's nervous about Ford/Corker, but I'm less so after this stunt. Of course, I can't see this admission hurting him much. If it does, it'll be for the cover-up. No red-blooded Tennessee man would hide the fact that he hung out at a Playboy party!

(Fyi, Ford has been attacked for attending a Playboy party, and Clinton-ed his way out of the issue by saying he's "never been to a party at the mansion," which was technically true, but not exactly honest.)

A narrowing Democratic advantage. But will it narrow enough?

Allah has a depressing round-up, as is his wont, but takes heart in the Netroots being forced to declare moral victory once again. Pretty soon, they'll have enough "moral" victories to be the party of family values!

Majority Watch says the Dems are poised to take the House, with as much as a 20-seat margin if everything breaks their way. That certainly fits wth WaPo’s “wave” projection. As for the Senate, Taegan Goddard boils it down to three races: Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia. I’d add Montana in there, since Conrad Burns has pulled to within three points or so of Jon Tester.

The latest polls at RCP have the GOP winning two of those. Which would make it 50-50.

Speaking of the Tester camp, RedState notes that they're bringin' in the demigod himself to raise money. They're getting nervous, methinks. When the Nutroots are so sure to fail you, turn to the charismatic moderate.

Scott Elliott, who was also THE MAN in 2004, sees no surge going on here, per se. But he ain't letting it get him down:

I believe now that the effort by the media to portray the GOP faithful as depressed and unenergized has failed to produce GOP faithful who are depressed and unenergized. That is the main reason I'm feeling good this week. 

The DCCC airs an ad in Connecticut portraying Republicans as the captains of the Titanic. Yeah, because no Northeastern Democrat has ever been known to sink anything.

Dick Morris says Republicans are coming home!

The latest polls show something very strange and quite encouraging is happening: The Republican base seems to be coming back home. This trend, only vaguely and dimly emerging from a variety of polls, suggests that a trend may be afoot that would deny the Democrats control of the House and the Senate.

With two weeks to go, anything can happen, but it is beginning to look poss- ible that the Democratic surge in the midterm elections may fall short of control in either House.

All right, this was meant to be a lot more mixed-messagy than this, but everyone's gone and been optimistic. Or, at least, not totally in the gutter.

I'll leave you with this:

Democrats Suffer Bouts of Optimism; Prozac Sales Plunge

And, this: Polls bad!