Momentum Much? About that Third Poll

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 06, 2006 9:46 AM

I mentioned yesterday that there were three late-game polls coming out, two of which showed a significant shift in Republicans' favor on the generic ballot question.

I told you to wait for the third. The Gallup came out last night, and we've got ourselves a real-deal trend. I'll defer to Geraghty:

The Gallup poll is out; in two weeks, the Dem's advantage on the generic ballot has narrowed from 13 points to 7 points...

It's not what Ken Mehlman would have liked to see in in the final Gallup poll, but it is a big shift in a two week period, and it suggests the GOP has the momentum. We will see whether that's enough to keep control of the House and Senate. 

It is a shift. Is it too little too late?

Allah notes this, and has a chart showing the "botched joke" effect. Go look. It's not a number that will make Dems happy.

Pew always does a nice job with tables of the key data so click that first link and breeze through. Points to note: (a) not only has the margin among likely voters narrowed from 53-40 in early October to 47-43 now, but the number of undecided voters has increased by three points to 10%; (b) voters who say they’ve given “quite a lot of thought to the election” are up three points in the last month among Democrats — and 16 points among Republicans

Scott Elliott of Election Projection says the "threat of the blue tsunami is over," and is sounding downright sanguine about the possibility of even keeping both houses.

Jay Cost is taking Rothenberg and Cook to task for sticking with the wave predictions:

Maybe this gets to what I was hinting at in my recent critique of Cook. The major race rankers see a massive "wave" coming, but cannot really find the districts to upgrade to fit the wave. Cook's response has ostensibly been to develop a "Gimme a reason, punk!" kind of attitude toward Republican seats -- i.e. any seat where the Republicans blink is a seat that gets upgraded -- candidate financing, party involvement, district partisanship aside.

The net result is a set of highly conservative seats that -- despite the negative mood toward the GOP and despite whatever drama might be happening on the ground -- are really unlikely to switch, and, minimally, do not justify the 1994 comparisons that Cook has been supplying with his list. 1994 saw Democrat-held 0 seats from districts in which George H.W. Bush did 9% or worse than his 1992 national average switch to the Republicans; Cook's list currently has 11 such Republican-held seats (i.e. seats from districts where Kerry did 9% or worse than his national average) rated as vulnerable.

Rothenberg's response? Well -- from the looks of it, he is implying that his race-by-race estimates will be wrong - and not just a little bit wrong. A lot wrong. Why does he not correct them so that they show something like 34 to 40? Maybe de does not because he just cannot find the races to fit into a 34 to 40 scenario, but thinks it will happen nonetheless.