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Well, that's one way to look at it.And as though the RNC would not, had he won, spun it into, "see, Democrats agree with Bush's policies."Not sure what it will mean in upcoming elections, but I do think that polictical spin out of either party's national organization is only useful in estimating each party's strategy...not the real meaning of any given election.
As a hardcore Lieberman supporter, I am depressed by the results but I disagree with the article's assessment. The political environment is radioactive for moderates of both stripes in the Northeast--this means that Republican Chris Shay of Conn. and others in the Northeast are in trouble. I have read this analogy elsewhere so forgive me if you have seen this---but in 1980 liberal Repub. & icon Jacob Javits lost the nomination to Alfonse D'Mato----how many senate seats did other liberals & Dems lose that year? I believe it was close to a dozen. If Repubs are taking anything good from Tuesday's results they are missing the big picture. If anyone is interested---read last weeks Charlie Cook from the Cook Political Report (you don't need a subscription to read his column on the website). I have NEVER read a Cook column that was so resolute & definite in his forecast of an upcoming election. To my mind, Cook is the wisest observer of polls & political forecasting around.
the column:OFF TO THE RACESThe GOP Hill Gets SteeperBy Charlie CookTuesday, Aug. 1, 2006With 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 advantage 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 [PDF], 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 News/Wall Street Journal, conducted July 21-24 and for CBS News/New York Times, taken July 21-25, the right direction numbers were 27 percent and 28 percent, respectively, while the wrong track results were 60 percent and 66 percent. These numbers are about the same as they were at this point in 1994 and going into Election Day that year.(The error margin was 3.2 points for Cook/RT, and 3.1 points for the other two.)On Congress' approval rating, the Cook/RT and CBS/NYT polls found just 28 percent approved of the job Congress was doing. It was 25 percent in the NBC/WSJ survey. Those numbers are a shade better than at this point in 1994, but still in the same horrific category.On the generic congressional ballot, Democrats were ahead by 13 points among registered voters, 49 percent to 36 percent in the Cook/RT poll, and by 10 points in the other two. In 1994 NBC/WSJ polling, Republicans were still 5-6 points behind in both second- and early third-quarter polling, but surged to a 5-point lead in the final pre-election poll.Finally, measuring President Bush's job-approval ratings, the CBS/NYT poll showed a 36-percent approval rating, while the NBC/WSJ and Cook/RT polls both showed approval at 39 percent. Early in the third quarter of 1994, President Clinton had a 44-percent approval rating; it moved up to 48 percent in the final pre-election poll.===========================================================Don't keep Charlie's insight all to yourself! Please forward the following link to friends and colleagues. Sign up:http://nationaljournal.com/about/cookcolumn.htm=========================================================== On the second assumption -- that Democrats will have a strong turnout advantage -- it is very clear that they are more motivated than Republicans. When asked to rate how interested they are in the upcoming election on a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing "extremely interested," 44 percent of registered voters chose the top number in the Cook/RT poll. Turnout will probably be a little more than one-third, but less than this 44 percent.Among those with the highest level of interest, Democrats had a 19-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 52 percent to 33 percent. In the NBC/WSJ poll, among those who chose 10 on the scale of interest, Democrats led by 14 points. These are very strong showings.For the third assumption, a diminished GOP financial advantage, the June 30 cash-on-hand figures tell the whole story. For the GOP, the Republican National Committee had $44.68 million, the National Republican Senatorial Committee showed $19.9 million and the National Republican Congressional Committee reported $26.42 million, for a total of $91 million.On the Democratic side, the Democratic National Committee had $10.84 million, the Democratic Senatorial Committee reported $37.7 million and the Democratic Congressional Committee showed $32 million, for a total of $80 million. 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.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 toss-ups. No Democratic seats remain in that column. Another 21 GOP seats are rated as leaning Republican.In a very large tidal-wave election, as this one appears to be, it would not be unusual to see all toss-ups 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.In the Senate, while it is easy to get Democrats to a four- or five-seat net gain, six is tougher. But keep in mind that in the last four non-wave elections, between 67 and 89 percent of the races rated as "toss-ups" in the final Cook Political Report pre-election ratings broke toward one party each time, a domino effect, with the close races breaking toward the party with momentum.This does not mean that Republicans no longer have any chance of holding onto their House or even Senate majorities. But every day that passes between now and Nov. 7 where their poll numbers look this bad, the climb back gets incrementally steeper and more difficult.
Jeff is right. No sense in trying to overspin this. The GOP was going to try to make this a win-win, and they have done so. I happen to have wanted Lieberman to win, even if I am aware of his problems and have some issues with him, but this is how primaries work in the US. I'm not sure that we can divine many larger trends from the Democratic primary in Connecticut beyond the fact that Ned Lamont won the Democratic primary in Connecticut.I still would not count Liebarman out.dcat
Spin aside...I don't see this as a victory for anyone...The GOP gains nothing, loses nothing, but gets great "spin material"....The Dems lose a seat, when Lieberman wins as an I, but he will still caucus with the Dems, so nothing really changes....The Angry Left gets yet another boost that fades into nothing, just like their "moral victories" in the Ohio 2nd special election last year (really a defeat, as the GOPer won...my home district, by the way, until I moved to Cleveland) and in the Cali election to replace "the Duke"...Daily Kos and that crowd will be on cloud nine for a while, but in the end....nothing really changes...
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