Skip to comments.Congress races look less certain for Democrats
Posted on 09/10/2006 2:46:11 PM PDT by RWR8189
If you watched even five minutes of television last week, you probably saw a dozen political ads. The 2006 midterm campaign has begun in earnest, and it's now an eight-week sprint to Election Day. So what's happening out there?
For months, the numbers indicated that Democrats were poised to make gains in the House and Senate. The numbers still look good for Democrats, although not as good as earlier in the summer. Let's start with the generic congressional ballot.
This poll question isn't a great indicator of electoral success, but its dx/dt (the rate of change of x with respect to time, t) can illuminate broader changes in the political climate. In June, Scott Rasmussen's generic congressional ballot gave Democrats a whopping 47 percent to 34 percent lead among likely voters. His latest poll, conducted in mid-August, showed the Democrats' lead shrinking to 8 percentage points. The Gallup generic ballot gave Democrats a 54-38 margin in June. In the latest Gallup, those numbers narrow to a 47-45 edge. But remember: These numbers are useful only as indicators of the general atmosphere. People vote for candidates, not generic party labels.
Out in the land of actual candidates, Democrats still have the advantage. But the numbers there are closing, too. (Remember the Second Rule of Politics: All races tighten.) In the House, only about 40 races were in play at the beginning of the summer. That number has shrunk. Democrats need to pick up 15 seats to elect a Speaker Pelosi. The way things look now, they should gain at least eight seats. About 16 races remain toss-ups.
Three states to watch are Indiana, Pennsylvania and Iowa. Indiana and Pennsylvania each have three vulnerable Republican incumbents (Hoosier Reps. Chris Chocola, John Hostettler and Michael Sodrel and Pa. Reps. Jim Gerlach, Curt Weldon and Michael Fitzpatrick). If those races start to move in the Democrats' favor, then something is afoot.
In Iowa, the reverse is the case: The state's First District is open, and the Third District features a weak Democratic incumbent, Leonard Boswell. If Republicans gain strength here, it may mean that the Democratic tide is lower than expected.
In the Senate, Democrats need to gain six seats to take power. This was always an ambitious goal, but it seems less likely today than it did three months ago. During that time, Rasmussen has shifted five Senate races from "leaning Democrat" to "toss-up."
Democrats still have good chances in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, but they look shaky in Maryland, New Jersey and Michigan, three states where the GOP has legitimate shots to gain seats. For a bellwether, watch the Missouri race, in which incumbent Republican Jim Talent has a slender lead over Democrat Claire McCaskill. Talent won in a 2002 special election by just 21,000 votes. Missouri is a swing state. Both candidates are solid. As goes Talent, so go the Republicans.
Pulling back from the micro, we see two other dynamics worth noting. The first is the waning of the Incumbent Rule. This electoral rule, first formulated by pollster Nick Panagakis, postulates that at the close of elections, undecided voters break for the challenger. The theory is that voters already know the incumbent and aren't going to discover anything new at the last minute that helps them decide in his or her favor. Panagakis built this rule on polling data from the 1970s and '80s, when he found that about 80 percent of undecided polls were breaking for challengers.
Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal now suggests that the Incumbent Rule has been slowly eroding. From 1992 to 2004, he points out, the proportion of undecideds breaking for challengers has steadily decreased. It has gotten to the point at which, as Slate reported after the 2004 election, President Bush picked up 46 percent of voters who decided in the last week and 44 percent of those who decided in the last three days. The New Incumbent Rule seemed to be in effect in Connecticut last month, when Sen. Joe Lieberman received a last-minute surge of support.
Which leads us to the final piece of the 2006 puzzle: Lieberman. The left was thrilled when Lieberman lost the Democratic primary to Internet darling Ned Lamont. Now the two are locked in a general-election fight with Lieberman running as an independent Democrat, but the race may have broader implications.
Three of the House seats Democrats had targeted were in Connecticut, where incumbent Republicans Nancy Johnson, Rob Simmons and Chris Shays were thought to be vulnerable. Johnson now looks like a solid hold for Republicans; Simmons and Shays have smaller leads. If Republican turnout increases in support of Lieberman, it could pull Simmons and Shays along. Certainly, Democrats would have had a better chance at these seats without Lamont's insurgent candidacy.
And what if Lieberman beats Lamont and retains his Senate seat? Lieberman leads now, but the race is still a toss-up. Most people assume that Lieberman would vote for the Democratic Senate leadership, but what happens if Democrats wind up with 50 seats and Lieberman's vote is the difference between Majority Leader Reid and Majority Leader McConnell? No one really knows.
Not for another eight weeks, anyway.
But.. But.. But.. there is a groundswell for change, a new direction.
tee hee hee (guess who the joke is on?)
I predict they'll actually lose a couple of seats in the House and maybe on in the Senate.
Maybe the evil democrat party will make some gains and maybe it won't.
The only thing for certain is that the Drive-by Mainstream Media will endlessly exaggerate how great the chances are of a democrat victory. Every election cycle it's always the same drumbeat.
aw....Daschle is deeply disturbed....
I doubt whether Lieberman will turn Republican, but he must be pretty angry at the Democrat leadership for ostracizing him and supporting his opponent. After all, he has been loyal to his party over a long career.
He may have scolded bill clinton over the Lewinsky affair, but he then promptly turned around and voted to let him off.
Pres. Bush takes it slow and steady. This is going to strengthen the conservative cause for the long haul. Repubs will gain seats.
After the past few months of nastiness coming from the Demo leadership toward Lieberman, if he holds the balance of power (which seems unlikely anyways) in the Senate, I think he will caucus with the GOP.
This is a very optimistic spin on November. Very. While I hope it turns out correct, I'm not going giddy, especially over a rosy scenario based only on Rasmussen numbers.
the following is particularly dubious:
""In the Senate, Democrats need to gain six seats to take power. This was always an ambitious goal, but it seems less likely today than it did three months ago. During that time, Rasmussen has shifted five Senate races from "leaning Democrat" to "toss-up."
Democrats still have good chances in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, but they look shaky in Maryland, New Jersey and Michigan, three states where the GOP has legitimate shots to gain seats.""
Chris Matthews thinks the mid terms are exclusively about the Iraq war. I really look forward to watching Hardball Nov 3.
3/4 of FreeRepublic agrees with that. The threat to impeach if they get a majority no doubt turned off a lot of voters. The attempt to censor ABC also rubs people the wrong way. The attempt to unilaterally end the war also does not compute. There's more.
The incoming swell of the tide broke just a little too soon to benefit the Dem'crats. Several factors may be at work here, not the least of which is the plummeting price of gasoline at the pump. We have seen a 40¢ drop within the past three weeks, and it promises to continue for several more weeks. The ABC special on "The Path to 9/11" on September 10 and 11, while it is not particularly supportive of the Bush Administration, effectively demolishes several of the myths fostered by the regime of the "Former Occupant of the Oval Office, 1993-2001".
Dem'crats are not especially effective legislators or administrators to begin with, and even less so when they turn their leadership over to the CRAZY PEOPLE! calling for retreat and reconciliation with the equally crazy Islamic fascists. Incumbent Dem'crats are not looked upon favorably, when they do not support the President in this quest for a solution to the Middle East turmoil, and settling of seemingly insurmountable differences.
The tide of history is beginning to wash outwards, and the Dem'crats find themselves paddling against the current. They need the exercise, it strengthens their stroke. But they are still ineffective.
"This guy is clueless."
Actually, this shows how clueless you are.
I did not COMPARE immigration and tying shoelaces. I said Pres. Bush got criticism FROM immigration TO typing shoelaces.
As in when one says "from A to Z". One is not comparing A and Z. One is noting A and Z and all letters between.
Better learn to comprehend more fully before commenting.
Comparing Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island to Michigan and Maryland is just foolish on the part of the author.
On one hand we have Stabenow (has led by at least 8 all year) or Cardin (who has led by 5 or more).. and then Burns (trailed by between 1 and 7 since April), DeWine (trailed by between 2 and 8 and has not led since June), Santorum (trailed between about 6 and 20 points, has never led), and Chaffee (who is in a dead heat).
I'll give him the comparison to New Jersey, since it now appears that Kean Jr. leads that race.
But the difference between MT, OH, PA, RI and then MI and MD is that Democrats LEAD for the seats they are defending, and Republicans TRAIL in tthe ones they are defending.
Are the Democrats going to retake the Senate? No way. But are they going to gain seats? From all the clues we have I'd say they'll gain at least one net, and probably more like 3.
Lieberman is a liberal at heart. His longtime ACU rating is 17%. That is lower than the King of All RINOs - Lincoln Chafee.
Liberman may publicly flirt with the idea of aligning with the GOP, but he will do it just so Harry Reid will listen to him more.
The numbers always look good for the Dems in August when real people are gone or not paying attention. It's just when we get close to the election that they look not so good to hear the MSM tell it.
The author makes no mention that New Jersey and Maryland are bluer than blue states. Am I right he didn't mention Tennessee either? It's scaring me to death that Harold Ford, Jr. is running neck and neck with the republican, who's name I can't even remember.
I'm urging skepticism, mainly because I don't want to wake up on Nov 8 surprised at the outcome.
I doubt Harold Ford is actually running "neck and neck" with Corker. Yes, Rasmussen did release a survey showing Corker leading only by one, but remember what happened in the polling numbers with Lamar Alexander -- looked competitive, ended up not being so. I tend to think Tennessee's status as a red state keeps it more out of play than Maryland or New Jersey.
Ya, MD has another factor to consider. The reason it's Blue is because about 30% of the population (23% of likely voters) are African-Americans. The likely GOP candidate (Steele) is African-American. The Dem party preferred candidate (Cardin) is white. It's possible that Kweisi Mfume could win the Dem primary, but in any case, race is likely to be more important than party affiliation.
It is a sad time when you obey the rules and fraud is thrown at you, and upheld by a judge that sees a penumbra in the written words of our Constitution.
If these robed traitors continue this tract they will force a second American Revolution, and they are not going to like what they get.
The courts don't run this country, we do...we The People! The next time a liberal federal judge makes a haywire decision he, or she, should be brought up on charges and impeached!
It's time to stop this judicial dictatorship. We have a Republic and we have to fight for it!
In the words of ole Ben (Franklin).."You have a Republic, if you can keep it".
I aim to keep it!
LOL, thats taking a stand..."election day will prove me right or wrong!". But...I'm with you, I don't think we will lose any seats in the Senate, I think we will gain in MD and in NJ. As Harry Reid and the screamer and the screecher continue to appear on television sets, americans will wake up and say....we need the adults in office, not these ninies.
oooops........ shoulda luk'd at a calendar
From your lips to God's ears.
Nice post, musical notes running wild!!
That is a beautiful car, would be nice to know the guy driving it!
Of all the sports cars I've had in my life, the one I most wish I kept forever is the TR3 even though I froze my ass off during the Montreal winters!
TR4 engine (more ci)
Ported & polished & "shaved" head
Lightened & centered rocker arms
Ported & polished aluminum intake
Bored/polished 1-3/4" SUs - with no carb oil
[3-in-1 oil in Arctic temps for quicker warmups]
Volvo P1800 optional competition SU needles are perfect for dual use
Bendix electric fuel pump
Crane racing camshaft
Ferado competition clutch
It would start in 4th gear - lotsa torque
It smoked big block 'Vettes & E-Types
Top speed : "H"
(MPH is at bottom of speedo)
Gas mileage on the Sunshine State Pkwy was 40mph+
Top was used about once a year in South Florida
Tonneau cover only - If driving a lone right side kept covered
Left side racing windscreen (tiny!) with the one (1) required windshield wiper to stay street legal - Windshield as you know removes in seconds
Then there was John Schultz's AC Bristol that spun bearings in the aluminum block and reqired welding and line-boring three (3) times
A 'Vette engine was shorter & cheaper - Measuring the Chevy SB in my Impala I knew it would fit
Eight months later Carroll Shelby saw it at the Opa-Locka (airfield) races where he was driving a Birdcage Maserati.....
My modified Turbo Corsa outran both of them
With 15 pounds of boost it should -
My grandfather was born on PEI
TR3s with just stock Michelins would go thru and snow in New England
LOL back at you!
Reading your list, I remember too, not too fondly, tuning those dual carbs about once a week.
Mu buddy Bill had OD on his AH 100-6
It had a bigger engine displacement than the TR3s & TR4s but only had 1-1/2" SUs
I could tune mine carbs spot-on by ear or using a small diameter plastic tube if around noises
We bought a Uni-Syn for our mechanics in New England as it was quicker then teaching them
The Volvo P1800 competition SU needles had a great 2-stage profile and were cheap to buy
Before that I turned them down in a Dremell and checked diameters every 1/16" in a cardboard template
That was slow and very painful - But the high rollers in Greenwich loved to pay the big bucks to watch me make racing needles by hand
Once a week - Hmmm
Swapping the linkage for some Frenchie parts made them less likely to change adjustments
Honing the SU bores larger did wonders
Higher compression gave huge torque boosts
My buddy could not run with my TR3 when it had the TR3 engine
But his big-6 with OD was great - a '57 T-Bird would sneal up beside Bill - Bill would touch the OD to downshift and bye-bye T-Birdie!
Old war stories
Brit electrics were the pits
I rewired all the stock dash wiring with the best American HD gauge wire I could buy
The Bendix electric fuel pump I mounted UNDER the car right at the gas tank
Knowing the guys running the US Triumph team helped a tad
My modified TR3 was no legal for SCCA class racing
It was a bear on the street and tough and fit well with South Florida lifestyles
Almost went Porsche or Alfa SS but glad I did not
The Porsche Continental did have those great reclining front bucket seats though.....
Take care -
(The Roadster Factory has parts for these gems now)
A major race in the house is the Minnsota 6th. Bachmann (R) vs Wetterling (D). This is the seat vacated by Mark Kennedy. Support Bachmann if you can. The district leans Republican but it's not a lock. Bachmann is conservative enough for anyone here. Wetterling is a loon.
"aw....Daschle is deeply disturbed...."
I've been away much too long!
That post is wonderful!
Love the music, too, especially
with the Ann/Chrissie graphic.
Ya' done good, boy! ;o)
Do any of you folks know how to participate in Trade Sports?
I'm going to bookmark your prediction. See ya in November!
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