July 31, 2010

BAKED IN THE CAKE:

Why the Dems will lose Congress (MICHAEL BARONE, July 31, 2010, NY Post)

[T]ake a look at the generic ballot question: Which party's candidate will you vote for in elections to the House? The current realclearpolitics.com average shows Republicans ahead by 45 percent to 41 percent. Ten of this month's 15 opinion polls asking the question had Republicans ahead; Democrats led in four (twice by 1 percent), and one poll showed a tie.

Keep in mind that the generic ballot question historically has tended to under-predict Republican performance in off-year elections. Gallup has been asking the question since 1950 and has shown Republicans leading only in two cycles, 1994 and 2002, and then by less than the 7 and 5 points by which they won the popular vote for the House in those years.

So the Republicans' current lead in the generic ballot question suggests they may be on the brink of doing better than in any election since 1946, when they won a 245-188 margin in the House -- larger than any they've held ever since.

Another metric is daunting for Democrats. Polls in House races almost always show incumbents ahead of challengers, because incumbent members of Congress are usually much better known than their opponents. An incumbent running below 50 percent is considered potentially in trouble; an incumbent running behind a challenger is considered in deep doo-doo.


Posted by Orrin Judd at July 31, 2010 7:26 AM
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