Thursday, October 26, 2006

Get Ready To Spike The Ball

"They're dancing in the end zone. They just haven't scored the touchdown," - GWBush

When it comes to Congressional races, conventional wisdom has it that the trouble with most national polls is they tend to overstate general feelings while neglecting individual races, therefore you can't call a Congressional election ahead of the vote. That maybe true, but:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Voters strongly favor Democratic candidates over Republicans in the Nov. 7 congressional election and harbor growing doubts about the Iraq war and the country's future, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released Thursday.

Two weeks before voters decide which party controls the U.S. Congress, Republicans trail Democrats among independents and are still struggling to shore up their base conservative supporters, the poll found.

Democrats have an 11-point edge, 44 percent to 33 percent, when voters are asked which party's candidate they will support, up slightly from a 9-point lead in the last Reuters/Zogby poll a month ago.

The increase is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Note the subtle change in questioning. Not, who would be a better choice, but who would you vote for, is the focus of the questioning. This bodes very well for Democrats, even if the numbers are slightly deflated from the 55-16 percent spread of "who would do a better job governing?" mode of quesitoning.

This also makes clear what the two parties strategies will be in the next two weeks: voter turnout. Clearly, the Democratic base is far angrier and far more committed to seeing the bastards turned out and replaced. There's a significant undecided population to be captured, to be sure, but that might also, probably does, include a significant number of people who simply won't vote anyway.

The polling data breaks out this way:
Independents favor Democrats by 12 points, and just 56 percent of self-identified conservatives and 68 percent of Republicans say they will vote for the Republican candidate. About 81 percent of Democrats plan to support the Democratic candidate, the poll found.
Now's the time for Democrats across the country to start contacting friends and acquaintances who are Democratic around the country and get them out to vote. It's that simple.

Or, I can let John Zogby speak to this issue:John Zogby on Voter Turnout

Oh...the overwhelming issue for voters right now is Iraq. This poll showed that anything else, even the Foley and other corruption scandals plaguing the Republicans, had little impact on voter decisions.