Friday, August 25, 2006

Stuart Rothenberg Is Now Predicting Democrats Will Take Control Of The House

Wow. This is pretty big news actually. From The Rothenberg Political Blog:

Our latest race-by-race review of Congressional districts around the country convinces us that a Democratic wave is building and that the party is poised to take control of the House of Representatives in the fall. The only question now is the size of the November wave.

The national mood remains bleak for Republicans. President George W. Bush’s job performance ratings are terrible, and the public still gives Congress low marks. A majority of Americans continue to tell pollsters that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

That’s a recipe for a GOP disaster, and there is no reason to believe that things will change dramatically between now and Election Day to improve Republican prospects.

At the district level, voters are more critical of Republican incumbents – and supportive of even unknown Democratic candidates – than they usually are at this point in the election cycle. GOP candidates are running behind where they would be in anything approaching a “neutral” year. While some firming of the Republican base is likely over the next ten weeks, that alone may not be enough for the party to retain the House.

Strong fund raising by the DCCC should mean that some Democratic candidates won’t face the huge financial discrepancy that they have in the past, though RNC money should boost the Republican ground game nationally.

To hold the House, Republicans must retain at least a handful of districts that now appear likely to go Democratic, probably by discrediting Democratic challengers and open seat hopefuls. Unlike previous cycles, when the burden was on Democrats to create upsets, the onus is now on the GOP to save at least a handful of seats before Election Day.

Therefore, we are raising our estimate of likely Democratic gains from 8-12 seats to 15-20 seats, which would translate to between 218 and 223 seats – and a majority – in the next House.

Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats in order to take control of the House of Representatives from Republicans. In April of this year, the Rothenberg Report increased their estimate of likely Democratic gains in the House from 5-8 seats to 7-10 seats. In May, the Rothenberg Report increased their estimate of likely Democratic gains in the House from 7-10 seat to 8-12 seats. Now they've increased their estimate of likely Democratic gains in the House from 8-12 seats to 15-20 seats.

There are no guarantees, of course, but Charlie Cook thinks Democrats have a pretty good chance to take back the House and Stuart Rothenberg just predicted a Democratic takeover.

There are 74 more shopping days until the November 7th midterm elections. You can see from the above Rothenberg analysis which way the trend is going.

Given the way the political winds are blowing these days, I bet we'll see a few more Republicans in close races follow Connecticut Representative Chris Shays' lead and call for a troop withdrawl timetable for U.S. troops in Iraq. With a tanking economy and tanking wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what other way is there for Republicans to try and change the political winds?

Oh, yeah - politicizing the war on terror and an attack on Iran.

I'm happy to see things like this. USA Today's cover the other day was predicting otherwise.

Then, or course, there's those black boxes to wonder about. I thought I'd read there'd be a paper trail by 06, but I haven't heard anything about that lately.
There's more and more stuff trending this way. The ones that have really caught my eye is the shift in lobbying/pac/corporate money towards the Dems.

Largely that is a market predicting the future and the Dems are getting a whole lot more bets.

Those moneys are not ideologically driven, but business investments, and the business models are beginning to match the Rothenberg prediction.

nyc, I didn't see the USA Today story, but Rothenberg, like Charlie Cook, is a pretty well-respected non-partisan political analyst, so I am putting some stock into what he says. And I can guarantee you that the conventional wisdom meisters will take notice of his declaration come next week. Look for a David Broder column on it in the not-to-distant future.

Mike, I saw that PAC/lobbying money story in the Wash Post too and I think you're absolutely right. Very pragmatic business people are making very pragmatic decisions to give money to the party that could be in power come January.

I remember discussing the midterm fortunes w/ you back in May and June and July and each time we both said the same thing: it's trending right, but there's a long way to go yet and a lot can happen.

Those qualifications are still in place, but there's not so long to go anymore. On Tuesday, the midterms will be ten weeks away. A lot can still happen before then, of course, but the window of opportunity for Rove and Company to change the dynamic of the elections is getting smaller and smaller.

I wonder how that list of october surprises people made over at your blog is going to look as we get closer and Rove and Company get more desperate?
Maybe we should set our target as "winning big" now, not just getting a bare majority.
howard, I think you have something there. As Cook, Rothenberg and the other political analysts all like to point out though, the close races tend to all go one party's way at the end, increasing the margin of victory. In the case of 2000, 2002 and 2004, they went the way of the GOP. In the case of 2006, perhaps it will go the other way.
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