Infinitesimal Glimmer of Hope?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Infinitesimal Glimmer of Hope?

Another day, another poll that says that Americans favor Democrats more than they like Republicans right now. Overall it's pretty meaningless because when it comes to mid-term elections national polls may reflect a general mood but are not good predictors for actual races due to the incumbency issue. They cannot tell us much about the odds of, say, the House leadership changing hands.

Except for this one.
Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glenn Bolger found that, while republicans do a little bit better with these voters than they do in a nationwide sample, the numbers still point to trouble for the party in power.

Midterm congressional elections aren't conducted nationally, district by district, so this poll ignores the districts where the incumbent is safe, and looks only at districts where either party might win.
The poll only surveyed people in the 50 most competitive House districts. Surprisingly the area where Democrats have made the most gains-- or it could be read that the GOP has lost the most ground-- is "values" issues. It looks like all of their paternalistic, "big daddy state" focus on flags, fags, and snowflakes could backfire.
On the question of which party would do a better job on "values issues," like stem-cell research, flag-burning and gay marriage, Democrats prevailed by their biggest margin in the entire poll: 51 percent to 37 percent.

"And when we list values issues like stem-cell research, flag-burning and gay marriage, these are the issues that Republicans took the initiative, used their control in Congress to get on the air to be voting on, to be talking about," Greenberg says. "What this says: By 13 points, voters say they are more likely to vote Democratic because of hearing about these issues. Which suggests that the strategy of using the Congress to get out the base is one that's driving away a lot of voters."
Sweet. Not that we can trust the Dems not to blow it anyways-- they have proven time and time again they have a unique talent for that. But it's not a bad place to be at the end of July, 3 months out from election day.

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