Thursday, July 27, 2006


That's one of the messages from this poll of likely voters in the fifty most competitive congressional districts, conducted for NPR by Stan Greenberg (a Democrat) and Glenn Bolger (a Republican):

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."

So, can we expect interminable hand-wringing from the GOP as it tries to come to terms with the fact that its value system resonates only with a small elite, and not with ordinary citizens? Can we anticipate a round of self-flagellating op-eds from Republicans? Will the pundit class start talking about angry, exclusionist conservative Stalinist-fascists who are dragging their party to the right and alienating the vast middle?


The Greenberg/Borger poll asked questions in those fifty competitive districts that haven't been asked in other polls. The answers are pretty good news for Democrats:

In 2004, the total vote in these 50 districts went republican by about 12 points. In our current survey, voters in these same districts say they would vote for the Democrat over the Republican by about six points.

We asked the question about a generic Democrat or Republican, then we plugged in the names of actual incumbents and challengers. The numbers didn't change much and the voters seemed pretty firm about their choices.

Only 18 percent of those favoring a Democrat said there was any chance they'd change their minds. Only 16 percent of those favoring a Republican said they might switch.

There's also good news in just-released CBS/New York Times and NBC/Wall Street Journal polls. Jonathan Singer at MyDD summarizes the results of those polls here.

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