September 7, 2010

THE NEXT INDONESIAN TSUNAMI:

Republicans making gains against Democrats ahead of midterm elections (Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, 9/07/10, Washington Post)

For the first time in more than four years, Republicans run about evenly with Democrats on the basic question of which party they trust to handle the nation's biggest problems. Among registered voters, 40 percent say they have more confidence in Democrats and 38 percent say they have more trust in Republicans. Three months ago, Democrats had a 12-point advantage.

On the economy, 43 percent of voters side with Republicans when it comes to dealing with financial problems, while 39 percent favor Democrats. (Fifteen percent say they trust neither party more.) Although not a significant lead for Republicans, this marks the first time they have had any numerical edge on the economy dating to 2002. In recent years, Democrats have typically held double-digit advantages on the issue.

The principal obstacles to GOP electoral hopes continue to be doubts that Republicans have a clear plan for the country should they win control of the House or Senate in November. But overall, the poll shows that the party has made big gains in the public's estimation since earlier this year.

Among all voters, 47 percent say they would back the Republican in their congressional district if the election were held now, while 45 percent would vote for the Democrat. Any GOP advantage on this question has been rare in past years - and among those most likely to vote this fall, the Republican advantage swells to 53 percent to the Democrats' 40 percent.


Countdown to the Coming Republican Tsunami (Mark Halperin, Sep. 07, 2010, TIME)
Democratic-held Senate seats that seemed fully safe in January (such as those in the states of Washington and Wisconsin) are now very much in play. Additional Democratic House incumbents that used to be secure are now suddenly imperiled — in red states such as Georgia and Arizona but also in blue states including Connecticut, Illinois and California. And Republicans are in a strong position to end up with a string of governorships from Pennsylvania westward to the ultimate American battleground states including Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and maybe Minnesota; wins in these states could have a hefty impact on 2012.

History is no help for the President's party either. Two precedents stand out in stark relief. First, with almost no exceptions, the party that controls the White House loses seats, often in substantial numbers, in the midterm elections. Second, when the House switches from one party to the other, the Senate follows the same pattern, even in years like this one, in which the House seems a far more likely bet to flip.

Without any intervening events, Republicans are in a position to ride a huge wave to a net pickup of as many as 60 House seats Democrats now hold, more than enough to take back the majority. And there are enough vulnerable Democratic-held Senate seats for Republicans to ride the wave to the 10-seat pickup they need to control both chambers of Congress.


New polls point to tsunami (MIKE ALLEN | 9/7/10, Politico)
[I]n another first, more people said Obama’s economic plan was making the economy worse (33 percent) than thought it was making the economy better (30 percent), while 36 percent said his programs were having “no real effect.”

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Tuesday found that that the administration’s “Recovery Summer” was a bust: In May, 40 percent of respondents said the economy would get better in the next 12 months. Now, that figure is 26 percent.

Democrats, it’s now clear, could lose bigger than they did in the Republican revolution of 1994, which produced House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a 54-seat GOP gain. This year, Republicans would need a 39-seat pickup to seize control, and forecasts for their gains run as high as 60 seats.

Handicapper Stuart Rothenberg told his clients Monday that a wave was building for the GOP.

“National and local polls continue to show further deterioration in Democratic prospects,” Rothenberg wrote. “Given that, we are increasing our target of likely Republican gains from 28-33 seats to 37-42 seats, with the caveat that substantially larger GOP gains in the 45-55 seat range are quite possible.”


The question is: can Democrats defend VT, MD, and the 2nd Senate seat in NY?


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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 7, 2010 5:23 AM
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