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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Democrat Toast

When the Gallup Poll says the Democrats are toast come November, you can believe it because even their registered voter generic congressional ballot results are usually below what other pollsters show for the Republicans. Today Gallup has the Republicans up by 10, the highest ever recorded since 1950. On July 19th, Gallup had the Democrats up by 6 when no other pollster had the Democrats up at all. Obviously Gallup has made some adjustments to how they weight their samples. Rasmussen has had the Republicans up by as much as 12 and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democrat firm, has had the Republicans up as much as 11. The previous high for Gallup was 7 for the Republicans in 1994 and that was using a likely voter sample rather than a registered voter sample. Had Gallup used a likely voter sample, the results would be even higher for the Republicans because likely voter samples always favor Republicans more than registered voter samples because Republicans turn out to vote better than Democrats.

If a 7 point spread in 1994 gave the Republicans control of the House by 231 to 204 seats, what would a 10 point spread do? If you have been following our model adopted from Gallup, you already know the answer: the Republicans would control the House by a whopping 71 seat margin, 253 to 182. That last time the Republicans controlled the House by that big a margin was as a result of the 1928 election, some 82 years ago. The last time the Republicans gained more than 71 seats was not in 1994 (54 seats) or even in 1946 (55 seats), it was in 1938 (81 seats). Thus a 75 seat gain would be the biggest in 72 years, but we have already pointed that out. At this point, it seems fair to say that the Democrats are not just toast, but burned toast.

All of this is merely a prelude to saying that we are adjusting our projections from a 67 seats picked up while losing 2 for a net gain of 65 to a whopping 80 seats picked up for a net gain of 78 seats. Thus our new projection is for a 256 to 179 seat House for the Republicans. Since the current House has the exact opposite of that, we are projecting a total flip over of the House giving the Republicans control by the exact same margin as the Democrats have now. Our reason for doing this is precisely because of what has been happening in the generic congressional ballot polls. This would require a 10.6 point margin in the likely voter generic congressional polls.

That average has been 10.5 lately even though today it is only 7.3 because Rasmussen has dropped down to 6 from 12 two weeks ago. The Gallup poll says that the latest Rasmussen poll is most likely an outlier poll and will return to the 9 point range next week. If you are interested in just which seats the Republicans will pick up, you will find that in our Marston Report. To give you an idea of what that means in the real world, it means the Republicans will have to defeat the likes of Bob Etheridge in NC-2, Ed Perlmutter in CO-2, Chellie Pingree in ME-1 and Bruce Braley in IA-1. The first two are rated by Real Clear Politics as leans D, but the last two are listed as likely D. If we cannot get those last two, the next two in our rankings are Phil Hare in IL-17 and Melissa Bean in IL-8 which RCP does list as leans D.