Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More Bad Numbers For The GOP

If you're a member of the GOP and you're running for reelection in November, you might want to worry about these poll numbers from the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll via First Read:

The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that interest in the November elections is unusually high for this point: on a scale from one to 10 (i.e., "not interested" to "very interested"), 46% say they're at 10, and another 34% rate their interest between seven and nine. Meaning that 80% of those polled are, well, really quite interested in the midterms. Pollster Bill McInturff (R) observes that the level is "essentially the number we had in October of the last three off-year elections," and that we're in a "period where the public is unusually attuned to politics." The war in Iraq, health care costs, and gas prices are all "capturing people's interest and making them pay attention," he says. This interest may or may not translate into high turnout in November. Usually there is a link, McInturff says, but turnout for the upcoming primaries in the spring, summer and early fall may be a more accurate measure given how far out we are from November.

If I were a member of the GOP, I would be quite worried that lots of people are paying attention to politics, are showing a high interest in the November election (as high as 80%, according to the Journal/NBC poll) and nearly half of them (49% in the WSJ/NBC poll) say they want to see Democrats in Congress take the lead on the major issues of the day as opposed to 25% who want to see the preznit take the lead.

If I were a member of the GOP, I would also be concerned that more than 62% of the public think the country is heading in the wrong direction and want to see a change from the Bush policies in Washington.

The seeds are already sown for a GOP free-fall in November. The electorate is disgruntled, anxious, worried about their pocketbooks and the war in Iraq, distrustful of the preznit and the ruling party, and paying close attention to what's going on.

It sounds like they're ready to vote for a change in November.

And take note of these special election results in a State Senate race from the formerly red exurbs of Virginia yesterday (via Hotline Blog) for more evidence that the GOP is going to have a difficult time in the midterm elections:

If you are feeling inundated by all the SOTU coverage and want some real, hard political data, check out the below on yesterday's special state Senate election in VA's exurban Loudoun Co.

The Dem won the previously GOP-held seat 62%-38. Beyond the impressive margin for such a conservative-leaning area, what caught out eye was that the GOPer did not even manage to win a single one of the district's 52 precincts.

Yes, it was a low-turnout special election in late January, but keep in mind that another Dem (who also pushed a planned-growth platform to curb development and traffic) also fared pretty well recently on this heretofore GOP turf.

You might have caught him on TV last night giving the response to the SOTU.

When conservative exurbs in a Southern state vote Democratic by 24 points and the GOP candidate (a fiscal and social conservative) cannot win even one precinct, the GOP is in trouble.

That's why I wasn't so sorry to see Tim Kaine give the response to the SOTU last night. I know a lot of leftie bloggers wanted to see somebody more fiery, like Murtha, hammer the preznit and shove his lies back down his throat, which is understandable and practical, but perhaps a more moderated political strategy that appeals to red exurban voters and moderately conservative voters in red states can help the Democratic Party take back either the House, the Senate, or both in November too.

And then the fun starts - right after the subpoena power is handed over to Pelosi and Reid.

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