From The Jaws Of Disaster

A few months ago, I predicted that if Congressional Republicans went into next year with more than 20 seats in the Senate and 100 in the House, it’d be a huge defeat for the Democrats; things were looking that bad. (It was pointed out to me that there are not that many potential GOP Senate seats to lose in the election.  My response; who said anything about elections?  I figured if a huge swath of Republican Senators didn’t resign in fear, it’d add to the Dems’ moral defeat).
Now – it seems Mac and Sarah have some coattails:

A potential shift in fortunes for the Republicans in Congress is seen in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with the Democrats now leading the Republicans by just 3 percentage points, 48% to 45%, in voters’ “generic ballot” preferences for Congress. This is down from consistent double-digit Democratic leads seen on this measure over the past year…

…The new results come from a Sept. 5-7 survey conducted immediately after the Republican National Convention and mirror the resulting enhanced position of the Republican Party seen in several other indicators. These range from John McCain’s improved standing against Barack Obama in the presidential race to improved favorability ratings of the Republicans, to Republican gains in party identification. The sustainability of all of these findings is an open question that polling will answer over the next few weeks.

The positive impact of the GOP convention on polling indicators of Republican strength is further seen in the operation of Gallup’s “likely voter” model in this survey. Republicans, who are now much more enthused about the 2008 election than they were prior to the convention, show heightened interest in voting, and thus outscore Democrats in apparent likelihood to vote in November. As a result, Republican candidates now lead Democratic candidates among likely voters by 5 percentage points, 50% to 45%.

I’ll stick with my prediction, of course; there’s almost two months ’til the election, and the Dems are running against four years of awful GOP history.

But there just might be a shift in momentum, here…

9 thoughts on “From The Jaws Of Disaster

  1. Lord help us, we’re so bad at politics.

    I’m still confident that it’ll be a good year for Democrats. But it should be a GREAT year for Democrats.

    Oh well. Slowly but surely, we’re learning. Maybe we’ll be caught up in 20 years.

  2. “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat!” – Will Rogers.

    “Maybe we’ll be caught up in 20 years.” – JR

    History doesn’t give you much reason to be that optimistic.

  3. Jeff, it’s not your side’s political acumen. It’s your message and your messengers.

    It’s not surprising – the Democrats won (and then only narrowly) in 2006 because they weren’t Republicans. But the D’s haven’t changed their “brand” in any real way since the 1960s. The Republicans have had to make changes and adapt. It’s not easy – McCain’s priorities aren’t necessarily my priorities, but he’s at least understood that the message has to change. I have watched the Democrats essentially run the same campaign in every cycle since 1968, save 2 — the years that Clinton won (with the help of Ross Perot). The only time the Democrats won was in 1976, after the disgrace of Nixon. And they almost lost that one.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  4. I think there is a clear point to be made to the Republican Party apparatchiks.

    This swing is happening because Sarah Palin is a conservative, not a moderate. Appointing her gave Conservatives a reason to vote republican rather than stay home. Someone needs to rub David Frum’s nose in this & teach him a more appropriate place to put his ideas.

    As far as coat tails, I still haven’t seen McCain do any coat tail speeches. Why hasn’t he stood next to the likes of Bachman or Coleman & said “When you vote for me, vote for him/her too”?

  5. Please, Jeff Rosenberg, spare me the “we’re no good at politics” claptrap. You guys were doing just fine in national politics until the post ’68 reforms. That was when you stopped representing working people in favor of representing the interests of social radicals, racial hustlers, and “community organizers”.

  6. There is a shift in momentum; that’s what the numbers show. Whether it’s transient or not remains to be seen; my guess is that it is, but we’ll see.

  7. Whether it’s transient or not remains to be seen
    Um, doesn’t a “shift in momentum” indicate transience by definition? Maybe you should have gone for a physics analogy, Joel.
    Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest…

  8. People at rest between reflections tend to echo reflexively what they hear in order to minimize social friction. Which means generally people talk up the Dems since that’s what the bulk of the media project.

    It’s only when a choice looms that can be made in private that Dem policies are actually examined that the Dems begin to falter. Perhaps this also explains why Unions want to eliminate the private ballot for organizing?

    It’s a classic pattern, repeated endlessly these last 3 decades. I have yet to see an election where the Dems actually pulled away at the end to any sizable extent, but the GOP does it consistently.

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