Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Tidal wave election" coming up? (Charlie Cook)

This now looks like a real possibility to the noted pollster and political handicapper Charlie Cook, who also sees the prospect of "an electoral rout" for the Republicans in November. Since Cook is widely regarded as "perhaps the best non-partisan tracker of congressional races" (to quote David Broder of the Washington Post), this is more than just idle speculation.

--Jeff Weintraub
The Stakeholder (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Weblog)
Tuesday, August 1, 2006 at 9:51 AM

Posted by jesselee
Subs. Req'd Charlie Cook say:
With fewer than 100 days left before the Nov. 7 election, certain assumptions can now be made, contingent upon the absence of a cataclysmic event.
First, the political climate will be extremely hostile to Republican candidates. Second, while Republicans benefited from turnout in 2002 and 2004, this time voter turnout will benefit Democratic candidates. And third, the advantages that the GOP usually has in national party spending will be significantly less than normal.

In terms of the political climate, the facts are clear. All of the traditional diagnostic indicators in major national polls taken in the past 10 days show numbers consistent with an electoral rout.

In the latest Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll, conducted last Friday through Sunday among 809 registered voters, only 27 percent said the country was headed in the right direction and 63 percent said it was off on the wrong track. In polling for NBC and the Wall Street Journal, conducted July 21-24 and for CBS and the New York Times, taken July 21-25, the right direction numbers were 27 and 28 percent, respectively, while wrong track results were 60 and 66 percent respectively. These numbers are about the same as they were at this point in 1994 and going into Election Day that year.

Wish I could give ya the whole thing, there aren't a lot of ifs ands or buts in the remaining paragraphs.

On voter enthusiasm: "Democrats will have a strong turnout advantage, it is very clear that they are more motivated than Republicans."

On polling: "Among those with the highest level of interest, Democrats had a 19-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 52 percent to 33 percent."

On money: "When was the last time Democrats were within $11 million of Republicans in hard dollars? I don't know, but it's been a while."

On 15 seats: "In the House, where Democrats need a 15-seat gain to win a majority, Republicans have 15 seats that the Cook Political Report currently rates as tossups. No Democratic seats remain in that column."

On tidal waves: "In a very large tidal wave election, as this one appears to be, it would not be unusual to see all tossups go to one party, along with a few out of the leaning column as well. Republicans might lose their House majority just in the seats in which they are behind or in which their edge is within a poll's margin of error."
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