June 16, 2010

SPEAKING OF BLACK SWANS...:

NPR Poll Shows Trouble For Battleground Dems (Reid Wilson, 6/15/10, Hotline)

The poll, conducted for NPR by Dem firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies, shows just 41% of voters prefer the Dem candidate in Nov., while 49% favor the GOP candidate. More troubling for Dems, in the 30 most competitive Dem-held districts, voters favor the GOP candidate by a 48%-39% margin.

Those districts include 12 Dem-held open seats and 18 incumbents, including many freshmen and sophomore legislators swept into power with the help of Dem waves in '06 and '08. And those legislators won't be able to claim that generic ballots don't capture their true popularity; GQRR and POS named the Dem and GOP candidates in the race, rather than asking whether voters favored a generic, unnamed contender from either party.

While Pres. Obama was a help to those Dems in '08, he won't be this year; the survey found just 40% approve of Obama's job performance in the most competitive Dem districts, while 53% disapprove.

As GOPers eye big gains across the country, the poll shows just how big the actual playing field is.


Because 1994 is pretty recent, we tend to think that this political season looks familiar, but those of us old enough will recall that no one was predicting a GOP takeover in even September of that year, nevermind June. Both 1980 and 1994 featured a series of upsets that nobody, or almost nobody, saw coming. So the think to start thinking about for this cycle is not the races we already know to be more competitive than initially expected--like that for Russ Feingold's and Barbara Boxer's seats--but the ones that still aren't thought to be at risk: like Pat Leahy's and Ron Wyden's.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 16, 2010 5:53 AM
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