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October 12, 2006

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Thanks Mimi, great news!

Excellent analysis! Thank you. To the Dem advantage here will be the ability to focus on specific race soft spots and the Dems will be able to utilize more of their leadership in those races vs the Rep candidates shooing away their leadership. Not only have the Rep's lost the mike to get their message out, they've lost their messengers as well. Without business and/or corp $ as well, the Rep machine may just run out of gas...and how fitting.

For the commentary of others, see MyDD. Sabato (linked in the post) came out befpore these polls.

Polls are polls (but I have to love the Survey USA poll showing McCaskill ahead 51-42), and they can be wrong. All this means is that we should redouble our efforts so that they can't make a real comeback. This is our best chance in years, so we need to take full advantage of it.

Chris Bowers, in the MyDD link just above, has all the poll results in easay-to-read format. I see I missed a couple. One standout is: IA-02: Loebsack (D) 48%--47% Leach (R) Could Jim Leach really lose? If so, a raft of other GOpers are going down too.

There will be 10 more C-D polls next week. Their methodology has been criticized because they use automated calls, but their previous polls had large (1000) samples. For other polls see here.

Wow. In AZ-01 I had the numbners reversed. It is Renzi 50-46D, not R. This is yet another example showing that it isn't necessarily the Chris Shayses who are likely to lose, but the over-confident R's who never thought they were in trouble, and now that they are, can't count on the big elephant to come to the rescue.

Good post. Would you please expand on this a little bit:

Ironically, the downside of gerrymandering is that in a "wave" election the more marginal, gerrymandered seats that gave the GOP its margin of victory now become endangered, increasing the risk of a large GOP loss.

Are you saying that the GOP actually makes itself worse off having gerrymandered than if it hadn't? Is that because they used the gerrymander to 'average out' for example a strong R and a weak D district into two weak R districts -- and those weak R districts are the ones we're now able to flip? Whereas if they'd just left it alone, they may have only had one seat to begin with but they'd be more sure to retain it rather than risking losing both as they are now?

(If I got that right, it seems there's a saying about a bird in the hand compared to two... somewhere... that is apropos.)

I've always wondered if that might be a possibility with gerrymandered districts, and I'm so happy to see it in print. The potentially flawed assumption behind gerrymandering is that the base can't be shifted.

So instead of two 100% R districts next to two 100% D districts, you gerrymander to have one 100% D districs and three 66% R/33% D districts. Then, as long as the assumption holds true, you get three R's and one D going to congress.

But if something like pagegate happens, and you can pick off 20% of the R base, then instead of the pre-gerrymandered two 100% D districts electing D's, and two 80% R districts still electing R's, you get the surprise outcome of all four districts going D.

That's what you're talking about, right?

It seems that many races are very close and within the margin of error. So its clearly a dogfight. Interesting considering the macro picture and Bush/Cheney and the Repub Congress epitomizing very bad judgement and their consequences.

It seems that races tighten as they get close to election day as partisans focus on the election and decide. Since all the recent elections have been pretty close would it not be the number of votes that swing this election be rather small. I suppose the election is going to hinge on which side can firm up and motivate their base to go out an vote. I hope the Dem candidates can get a few more of their supporters to come out and vote and enable a Dem majority. I am not going to believe it until I actually see it.

The above analyses of gerrymandering are basically correct, but the numbers of course aren't quite so extreme. Dems generally have more Dems in their districts. So in a state with 10 Congressmembers where the partisan vote averages 48% R and 52% D, you might have 3 Dem seats that usually vote 80% Dem, and 7 R seats averaging 60% for the R's. But some of these folks are independents, and in a race where the Dems take 60-70% of the independents, 20% of the R's and hold their base, a 55% R seat becomes vulnerable. Had the R's taken only 6 seats, they could all have been safer. (Like CA's incumbent protection plan, where only CA-11 threatens to change parties, and only because Pombo is personally vulnerable.) In 1994, as I understand it, the Dems lost a bunch of marginal seats from the redistricting after the 1990 census in addition to a great many open (previously D) seats. They actually took a few R seats, even though the R's netted 54 seats.

Some of the poll Dem numbers from Constituent Dynamics are suspiciously high (although others, like CO-07 and AZ-08 are much closer than other polling), and I expect the incumbent R's to hit the challengers with everything they have. In several cases the R's are multimillionaires who may be willing to put big bucks into holding these seats. Most will tighten, but not all. In some the margin will get bigger.

If you go to TPM's poll tracker and click on a district, it gives you all the polls from that district.

How's the Senate looking? Last I heard likely outcome was a slim minority. Anything new there?

New polls show good news in the Senate too. It is hard to believe the Survey USA polls with McCaskill at 51-42% in MO, and Sherrod Brown ahead 54-40 in Ohio. SurveyUSA has Brown hugely up among moderates, suggesting his unabashed and articulate populism is working. Here's a link to the average of all recent Senate polls showing 49-49-2.

There is more about the RT Strategies-Constituent Dynamics polls here. Their next batch of polls will include several NY races, OH-01 and the three races in which Dems are thought to be vulnerable, GA-08 and 12 and IL-08.

It is now looking to me like CT will not be so important to Dem chances, but that there is real movement in the NY, OH and PA, as well as several races out West. Dems actually in CT may have other views, however, and I'm sure we will here them!

One R strategy that has been ballyhooed is the microtargeting for GOTV efforts. Basically, huge databases to identify solid R votes in a district, followed up with relentless phone calls and other organizational efforts to get the R voters in the district to the polls on election day.

Sounds expensive.

Is such infrastructure in place everywhere?

Or only in targeted districts?

If only in targeted districts, when are the targets selected? Months ago, I suspect.

Do we know where?

Have Rs neglected this effort in previously thought to be safe districts?

I have seen this analysis several places figured several ways and concur.

If the Democrats win the Senate and the House, then what will happen?

They will not have the 60 votes in the Senate to stop a fillibuster.
They will not be veto proof.

They will be able to stop Bush's Supreme Court Justices. I frankly don't think this will ever be a compromise situation again.

The real question is will Government just stop?

Some of the bigger Dems have already said NO Impeachment efforts, which is a favorite dream of the bloggers and internet set.

The main thing on both parties mind will be 2008. If either side is too obstinate and destructive then it will suffer then. Of course if both act badly, then it will be a toss up as to which party suffers most.

Clinton was able to pull together in his last years some accomplishments with very careful alliances.
Can the Bush Administration do this while holding on to the War Effort in Iraq. Odds are NOT!

:)

Sad.

I have seen this analysis several places figured several ways and concur.

If the Democrats win the Senate and the House, then what will happen?

They will not have the 60 votes in the Senate to stop a fillibuster.
They will not be veto proof.

They will be able to stop Bush's Supreme Court Justices. I frankly don't think this will ever be a compromise situation again.

The real question is will Government just stop?

Some of the bigger Dems have already said NO Impeachment efforts, which is a favorite dream of the bloggers and internet set.

The main thing on both parties mind will be 2008. If either side is too obstinate and destructive then it will suffer then. Of course if both act badly, then it will be a toss up as to which party suffers most.

Clinton was able to pull together in his last years some accomplishments with very careful alliances.
Can the Bush Administration do this while holding on to the War Effort in Iraq. Odds are NOT!

:)

Sad.

The GOP has done the heavy GOTV in MO, OH and PA, I believe, and I have read that it is getting harder to recruit people this time around. This time aroound I have heard they are using it in IN, TN, and I think CT. They consider MO, TN and OH their "firewall" for Senate control. That was before VA looked to be in play. The polls aren't going their way.

Agreed Mimikatz.

The Republicans are wounded and are in a defensive position.
Waiting and hoping for a momentum switch.

I wonder if indeed they are sitting on some info or strategem they will spring in the next week or two.

I just don't know.

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