Monday, July 17, 2006

National Tide In Democrats' Favor This Year

Thomas Mann has an excellent analysis today in the Washington Post of the likelihood of a national tide in the Democrats favor in this year's congressional races. He indicates that the prevailing view in Washington today is that there is "no way congressional Republicans can lose this fall, no matter how unpopular President Bush is or how unhappy the voters are with the war in Iraq." He rejects this view, and I think he hits it right on the mark:

If history is any guide, we're heading into a major political storm. And that means we could see a national tide in November that will sweep the Democrats back into the majority.

Virtually every public opinion measure points to a Category 4 or 5 hurricane gathering. Bush's job-approval rating is below 40 percent, and congressional job approval is more than 10 percentage points lower. Only a quarter of the electorate thinks the country is moving in the right direction, and voters are unhappy with the economy under Bush. Finally, Democrats hold a double-digit lead as the party the public trusts to do a better job of tackling the nation's problems and the party it would like to see controlling Congress.

If this year is like other tidal elections, Democrats could gain anywhere from 26 to 56 seats, more than enough to recapture the majority they lost in 1994. By Mann's count, there are at least 53 GOP seats in play in November compared to just 21 Democrat seats in play. Indiana alone has 3 GOP seats in play, including Hostettler in the 8th, Sodrel in the 9th and Chocola in the 2nd. The GOP has one long-shot chance of knocking off Julia Carson in the 7th with Eric Dickerson.

No comments: