Friday, October 06, 2006

If the Democrats win one or both houses of Congress in November, please remember this:

Poll says Democrats favored to win House, maybe Senate

Democratic candidates enjoy an advantage "in almost every campaign" and now stand a better than even chance of winning a House majority, the bipartisan Battleground Poll released yesterday concluded.

The poll's conclusions closely resemble dismal predictions of a nearly certain net loss of at least 15 and as many as 30 House seats for the GOP that other top-rated Republican campaign pollsters and strategists confided earlier this week to The Washington Times.

Democrats also now show an increased probability of taking the Senate, according to the Battleground survey by Democrat pollster Celinda Lake and Republican Ed Goeas....

The Sept. 24-27 Battleground Poll of 1,000 likely voters was conducted before the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley, Florida Republican, began making headlines. ...

Emphasis mine -- and I can't emphasize that last point enough: Democrats are winning without the Foley scandal.

This is important because, as I said a couple of days ago, if there's a Democratic win, Republican spinmeisters and journalists for whom GOP dominance seems a fundamental law of the universe will immediately begin trying to delegitimize the Democratic majority, because it "really" wouldn't have happened without Foley. This will be a lie. But it will become conventional wisdom unless it's loudly and relentlessly debunked.

A new Pew poll reinforces this. It shows two things: (1) Foley isn't flipping voters; (2) voters have soured on the GOP anyway, because they don't believe Republican foreign-policy fairy tales:

Iraq has become the central issue of the midterm elections. There is more dismay about how the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going than at any point since the war began more than three years ago....

Pew's latest nationwide survey finds 58% of the public saying that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is not going well, and a 47% plurality believes the war in Iraq is hurting, not helping, the war on terrorism. The poll finds extensive public awareness of a leaked intelligence estimate suggesting that the war is spawning more terrorism....

The survey, conducted Sept. 21-Oct. 4 among 1,804 Americans, was in the field when news broke that former Rep. Mark Foley sent sexually explicit emails to House pages. The Foley story has not significantly affected the midterm race: In interviewing conducted before news of the scandal surfaced, Democrats led by 51%-38% among registered voters; in the days after Foley resigned, the Democratic advantage was unchanged (50%-37%)....

Here's an interesting finding:

Perceptions of the war in Iraq have grown more negative over the last month. In early September, Americans were split between those who felt U.S. military efforts were going well (47%) and those who believed they were not going well (48%). Now, just 37% think the war is going well, while six-in-ten (58%) say military efforts are going not too well or not at all well.

A ten-point shift in less than a month? Well, that's huge, but it's not surprising -- the Bush 9/11 Show was artificially pumping up support for his foreign policy, but then it gave way to the NIE. And note this:

The largest change in perceptions of the war has occurred in the Northeast, where the percentage of people who think the war is going well has dropped dramatically, from 48% to 24%.

That's happening where people take 9/11 personally because it happened just around the corner. I guess a goodnumber of us responded to the 9/11 Show for a moment -- but that moment is over.

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