That Newsweek Poll.
Seems the Repuglinuts don't like that poll because it doesn't fit their teabag revolution narrative. They slant their brows in angry scowls, slam their hammy fists and declare the poll an outlier, unfit for human consumption!!!
"Look at Real Clear Politics," they insist. "Their totally and completely non-partisan analysis of polling numbers shows that the Newsweek poll is a fake, a lie, a CONSPIRACY - all designed by the VLWC to raise the specter of Republican failure only days before the greatest and most important election of forever."
Oh, what a world!
So what about that Newsweek poll? Was it an outlier? Was it in any way valid? Are we desperate for a sprig of hope? Are we totally delusional?
After all, that Newsweek poll totally disagrees with all those other, much, MUCH more legitimate polls that show Obama with a -0.0% likey-likey rating and a generic ballot that suggests a pickup for the Republicans somewhere between 1.2 million and infinity seats in the House.
The Reality is that these pollsters sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to a thing we all refer to as "Progress". Say it with me Pro-gress.
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The 2 parties have been trading leads a few times on the generic ballot question ("vote for a Democrat, or a Republican for Congress?") since the late spring, creating suspense and anxiety about the nationwide political landscape.
Recent polls don't settle it. Politico/GW poll: tied (43-43, likely voters); and
Dems show a 1-point lead in the (pdf) PPP survey: D +1 >> PPP: "Democrats have retaken a 45-44 lead in the national generic Congressional ballot, after being down 42-45 in August."
"(The current) Democrats in Congress also still are better liked than their Republican counterparts by 19 points." Even so, the respondents said they believe the GOP will win the House despite their expressed voter preferences. Maybe they've heard the prediction broadcast in their ear. From other surveys: CBS/NYT gives the GOP a 2-point edge. Gallup and AP give Republicans a bigger margin.
The most interesting poll is the one you've never heard of, by the Barna Group, an evangelical polling outfit (Ventura, Calif).
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Given the recent polling data, Republicans should stop speciously pointing fingers and start asking: 1) why do most Americans view us negatively, and 2) what can we actually do to change that?
Last week's Gallup poll found that more American's trusted Democrats over Republicans to do a better overall job and to handle national security and prosperity. The new Washington Post/ABC poll results contain similarly bad news for Republicans.
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Over the weekend, the GOP was smiling about polls from Pew and ABC that showed a Democratic lead over the Republicans of only 4% and 6% respectively - But that picture has changed dramatically.
- The latest Fox News poll gives Democrats an edge on the generic congressional ballot, where they lead Republicans, 49 percent to 36 percent. The survey also showed Democrats were more excited about the elections, and more motivated to vote, than their Republican counterparts. "More Democrats (37% ) than Republicans (26%) say they are extremely interested in tomorrow's elections, and more Democrats (89%) than Republicans (81%) say they plan to vote for their party's candidate in their district."
- CNN's final national poll before the elections shows President Bush's approval rating dipping to 35 percent and Democrats leading Republicans on the generic congressional ballot, 58 percent to 38 percent.
Discuss (1 comment)
At a glance, the polls below (coupled with the historical tendency of 1) undecideds tend to break for the challenger, and 2) an incumbent held under 50% in the polls is in serious trouble) suggest:
Democrats Safe: Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania
Democrat Lean: Missouri
Toss-Up: Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia
Republican Safe: Tennessee
In an anti-Bush, anti-Iraq, anti-Republican, anti-incumbent election cycle -- like this one is, the Toss-ups are truly the challengers to lose.
Look for a Democratic Senate come January 2007.
As you peruse the polls below, you might notice that many of the races are statistically too close to call. That means two factors will take over in the final hours:
1) GOTV efforts which have been highly touted on both sides of the aisle.
2) Voter enthusiasm. Who will be more likely to turn their opinions into actual voting. Democrats or Republicans?
Connecticut: Lieberman will take this one, holding large leads over challenger Ned Lamont. Independent Lieberman will caucus with the Democrats.
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They site a new Gallup poll that finds:
- Then, likely voters by 51%-44% favored GOP congressional candidates. Now, 51%-44% favor Democratic ones.
- Then, disapproval of Congress was at 66%. Now, disapproval of Congress is at 70%."
- Then, 52% said they were paying "quite a lot" of attention to the elections, the highest since the Gallup Poll began asking the question in 1958. Now, 50% say they are paying "quite a lot" of attention.
- Six of 10 Americans say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country.
- By 2-1 they say national issues, not local and state ones, are determining their vote.
- And on the dominant national issue, 56% call the decision to invade Iraq a mistake.
- 36% of likely voters say that are casting a ballot for a candidate to send a message that they oppose Bush; 20% to send a message that they support him.
- By 40%-33%, likely voters in the USA TODAY Poll say the country would be better off if Democrats, not Republicans, controlled Congress.
On August 1, the California's eminent "non-partisan" polling organization, the Field Poll, released a new poll on voter preferences in six "down ballot" state constitutional office races; Lt Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Controller, and Insurance Commissioner.
Theis year there are six parties that have "ballot qualified" candidates running in each of these races, the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Republican Party, and the Peace & Freedom Party.
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GOP strategist Ed Gillespie, however, begs to differ. When asked on Larry King Live about Republican plummeting poll numbers, Gillespie said, "I think that has something to do with gas prices that have gone over $3 per gallon..."
And then there is Rep. Chris Shays who said (also on Larry King Live), "Let me just say that I think the thing that has hurt the President most is not Iraq. It's Katrina. People saw an arrogant but confident Administration but when they saw Katrina they saw arrogance and frankly incompetence and that was very unsettling."
So take your pick, is it Bush's War, Bush's Gas, Bush's arrogance, or Bush's incompetence?
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That's a nice figure to see in an election year. The only thing I want to know is why the White House approval ratings dropped off so much. It's really significant, and it can be useful going into November to know the other side's weaknesses.
In other words, it's time for the nonstop thrill ride that is opinion poll analysis. Whee. In all seriousness, though, there's some really interesting stuff in here, and we're going to unravel it so you don't have to.
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In those frustrating days (and they were long days), there was much speculation about what it would take for people to wake up to the combination of self-assured stupidity and mindless evil that made up the Bush administration. A few even mulled the idea that Bush could take up barbequing infants on the White House lawn without giving up a majority on Gallup.
But here's the thing -- it wasn't passing unpopular laws and unpopular policies that finally brought Bush low in the polls. It was the incompetence displayed in carried out his edicts that made people doubt the emperor's sartorial splendor, not the wackiness of his proclamations.
Now, odd as it sounds, as Democrats make the run toward 2006 and beyond, they need to take a lesson from Bush. They need to sharpen up the utensils and track down a juicy baby.
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Are 48% of the American people smoking crack? Seriously.
Wake up and read this post, "Bush's Five-Point Plan to Invade IRAN - Copyright 2003"
In the meantime, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "We want nuclear technology for peace and progress of nations, and if some believe that they can prevent us with psychological warfare and resolutions, they are mistaken."
But things look bleak as Iran yesterday "vowed...to defy any United Nations Security Council resolution on its nuclear activities on the eve of a major report by atomic inspectors on the status of its nuclear program." Javad Zarif, the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations said, "Iran would consider illegitimate any Council resolution calling on Iran to stop uranium enrichment that invoked the so-called Chapter 7 clause, which could open the door to penalties and possibly to military action."
48%? Are people really that afraid? Are there that many cowards crossing our daily paths?
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Should we "trust" the President or abandon this pig?
You know what to do.
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