Momentum Shifting? Come on Home, Baby!

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 05, 2006 1:33 PM

Are Republicans coming home close to the elections? I figuref there'd be some of that as the voting booth loomed closer, but an 8-point shift on the generic ballot question?

Bush job approval: 43%, up from 40 (Registered Voters)

Generic Likely Voter, Dem +6 (down from Dem +14)

Right Track/Wrong Track (RV): 39/59, up from 32/66

Who do you trust on Iraq (RV)? Dem 42, Rep 42, up from Dem 48, Rep 40

Party that best reflects your values (RV): Dems 48, Rep 44, up from Dems 53, Reps 37

And so on…now many of those numbers are still pretty dismal for Republicans, but clearly a more accurate, unbiased headline would be: Republicans Closing Gap As Election Nears…that’s the story the survey tells, anyway…

Of course, the WaPo headline is "Democrats on the Offensive, Could Win Both Houses."

AJ Strata:

Right. The trend of losing nearly 2/3rds of the support in two weeks is nothing! Amazing. They really do believe their own spin. 

I'm not a great poll analyst, but I know a guy:

Oh, by the way, the Post was kind enough to give us a bit of history on their generic ballot preference question:

Dem Rep Other Neither Will not No
cand. cand. (vol.) (vol.) vote (vol.) opin.

11/6/94 RV 47 42 5 2 5
10/31/94 RV 48 44 4 1 3

Yes, on November 6, 1994, among registered voters, ABC News/Washington Post had the Democrats ahead on the generic ballot, 47 percent to 42. So we know just how valuable an indicator it is.

Still, an eight point shift to me says, at the very least, that it was never a 14 point advantage. (Or if it was, it was very soft.) And I think the phenomenon I'm describing - Republicans "coming home," voters actually paying closer attention in these final days, maybe having second thoughts and doubts about the Democrats, maybe just offended by Kerry, or liking the fired-up Bush they're seeing on the campaign trail - is happening. The question is, how much? And will this effect occur in certain parts of the country, certain states and districts, and not others? And will that effect occur as intensely where the GOP needs it most?

Meanwhile, the contest for Delay's old seat is tied up, despite Republicans having to write in a candidate. It's Zogby, but...

The poll also shows that 62 percent of respondents were aware that there's a write-in candidate. Sixty-one percent said they know how to cast a write-in vote. 

In Mark Foley's Florida district, Rothenberg and Cook are calling it a toss-up. 

It's been hard for me to believe those districts would up and turn blue based on the ills befalling their former Congressmen, but man, would that be demoralizing for Dems if we kept those seats. It makes me feel like many seats aren't in as much danger as some would like us to believe.

The NY Times, somehow, isn't feeling the shift. Color me surprised:"GOP Glum as It Struggles to Hold Congress." 

Hey, is that the perfect victim holding up that Tester sign? The Burns/Tester race, by the way, is now a 1-point lead for Tester, and has been moving in Burns' favor for a couple weeks.