Friday, September 29, 2006

Rothenberg Updates Senate/House Races: Good News For The Dems

All but one race moved toward Democrats:

In the Senate, we moved two races:
-Pennsylvania from Lean Takeover to Likely Takeover
-Tennessee (Open) from Clear Advantage for Corker to Narrow Advantage for Corker

In the House, we moved seven races and dropped two seats:
-Florida 16 (Open) added to the list as a Pure Toss-Up (pending additional news)
-Arizona 8 from Lean Democrat to Democrat Favored
-Georgia 8 from Democrat Favored to Lean Democrat
-Wisconsin 8 (Open) from Lean Republican to Toss-Up/Tilt Republican
-New York 24 (Open) from Lean Republican to Toss-Up/Tilt Republican
-Pennsylvania 10 from Toss-Up/Tilt Republican to Pure Toss-Up
-Ohio 1 from Toss-Up/Tilt Republican to Pure Toss-Up
-Dropped from the list: Lousiana 3 and Ohio 6

The pending news in the Florida 16 is whether Republicans can replace Representative Mark Foley, the Congressman who resigned today because of a possible illict relationship with a 16 year boy.

Chris Cilliza just said on Hardball that Dems may only need to pick up 12 House seats because Republicans may not be able to replace Foley's name on the ballot in the Florida 16, Republicans have been forced to run a write-in campaign in the Texas 22 (Tom Delay's old seat), and the GOP pulled all its money/support out of the Arizona 8 district (Jim Kolbe's old seat) because Randy Graf, a very conservative candidate, won the primary and the NRCC thinks he can't win.


Think about what has happened here this last week. Rove and Mehlman were expecting to hit Dems over and over on the national security/terrorism issue, get the Congress to pass a detainee bill and a domestic spying bill that they could use against Dems in attack ads, and keep the 9/11 anniversary momentum rolling their way.

But instead an NIE saying the Iraq war is making America less safe in the WoT was leaked to the NY Times, the Woodward book comes out saying the administration was completely in denial about the insurgency/troop levels in post-invasion Iraq, a bipartisan House report is released tying members of the administration, including Karl Rove and RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, to Abramoff hundreds of times, and Representative Mark Foley resigns in a pedophilia/sex scandal on the last day of the Congressional session.

So much for the 9/11 anniversary momentum.

There are no guarantees where this thing is going, but let's say this for now. Given where the numbers were a few weeks ago and looking at them now, the GOP has brought a few of its disgruntled voters back into the fold but the overall dynamic of the election remains very negative for Republicans.

And there's just 40 days to go. Can the GOP turn the numbers around at the district and state levels? They've got a lot of cash on hand for negative ads and I know they're not going to save it the way John Kerry did back in 2004. They're going to shoot the works and see what happens.

But so far, it's not working.

Well, if the voting machines aren't rigged too heavily, we may have something here.
Did Bill clinton have any impact on the numbers? I've just picked up a few bits out of the non-US press.
nyc, I wish I had more confidence that they're not rigged too heavily. But it's hard to have confidence when you hear stories that a electronic voting machine can be loaded w/ a virus that erases all the data in less than 30 seconds.

cartledge, I don't think that's had much impact on the numbers. Frankly, the numbers at the state and district levels hadn't changed much, even with the GOP getting it's "bounce" after the 9/11 anniversary (at least according to both Chuck Todd and Stu Rothenberg.) But I do think the BC/Wallace thing helped rally Dems into a fighting mood. And it does seem like the conventional wisdom has begun to swing back away from the GOP again. That's probably a function of a few things: the NIE leak, the Woodward book, the BC blow-up among them.

We'll see what happens. There's still a long time left before the midterms. Plenty of time for the CW to switch another half dozen times, I suppose.

Unless this sex scandal involving the GOP erupts into something bigger, of course. The rumor around tonight is that the GOp leadership knew about this guy Foley's pedophilia proclivities and did nothing to stop him. If that's true, then I think this scnadal works the way the House banking scandal did back in 1994 and causes a few more GOPers to lose their seats as voters take out their disgust on the party in power.
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