Potential surprise in the House?

posted at 2:15 pm on October 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

In 2006, Democrats led Republicans on generic Congressional ballot polling by double digits and took control of the House.  In 2008, the ground has quietly shifted — and it has accelerated in the past week.  The Hill reports that the Democrats lost half of their lead in generic-ballot polling in the past week, and that the Republicans have come close to a virtual dead heat:

Republicans have cut the Democratic advantage in the generic ballot question in half over the past week, according to a new GW-Battleground poll.

Democrats now lead by four points, their slimmest lead in more than three years. A week ago, according to the George Washington University poll, their advantage was eight points. Meantime, the congressional approval rating remained low, at 19 percent, up two points from the previous poll.

While the poll could give Republican candidates hope in a tough political landscape for the GOP, it had only mixed news for the party’s presidential candidate, John McCain. The Arizona senator remained three points behind Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.).

In the final weekend of 2004, the Tarrance Group (GW’s partner) put the GOP up 3 on the generic ballot — and they won a larger majority.  They have no data for 2006, but Rasmussen had a 14-point lead for Democrats, who won back control of the House as well as the Senate.  Most analysts had predicted gains for Democrats in this cycle as well — but the sudden shift gives a hint that Nancy Pelosi may have her hands full on Tuesday.

The Republicans have some hurdles here, though.  They have more retirees than the Democrats do, making it tougher to focus on pickups as much as simple holds of existing seats.  Democrats have far outraised them, too, making it harder to get the message across in the districts.

Something appears to have changed, however.  Could the divided government argument be working in a different direction?  Have voters decided to prepare for an Obama presidency by attempting to pass the House into Republican control?  It would probably take a harder swing than what we see now to make that a reality — but if this represents momentum, it may come at the right time for the GOP.


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Well dont get too cocky I mentioned before a “Surge” for Obama. I spotted a story that says the early vote ballots in most state right now are heavily democratic. They are voting early and often.

William Amos on October 30, 2008 at 2:34 PM

Yes, but more democrats isn’t per-se a problem.

Isn’t there a story on HillBuzz pointing out that for early voting in Florida, McCain is up 49 to 45 despite more Democrats voting early than Republicans!

VekTor on October 30, 2008 at 5:03 PM

If the Democrats were unseated in the house, I can only imagine how my old boss’s wife will lay wailing on the floor. She’s a German and self-proclaimed leftist who wept on the floor of their home on the day Bush was reelected.

“there goes kyoto!”
“the earth is doomed!”
“more innocents will die under the empire!”

He laughed at me when Pelosi and the Democrats took over in 2006. The with dripped with leftist talking points.

He said, “now the war will end, the environment will be fixed, and ethics will return to Washington…oh, and Bush will be impeached!”

I really hope the GOP surges over the house/senate. I’m already plotting the reply.

Black Adam on October 30, 2008 at 5:28 PM

Forget Mary, pray to JESUS!!! After all, He’s the one Obama is imitating!

Lincoln on October 30, 2008 at 5:36 PM

*email dripped with leftist talking points.

Black Adam on October 30, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Mahoney will lose in Fl..

Fires1 on October 30, 2008 at 7:38 PM

The Democrats are running really nasty ads full of lies for Congressman Wahlberg’s district in Southern Michigan. He beat the R incumbent in the primary in 2006 (he beat a RINO, smashed him in the primary), and fairly easily won election in a very mixed R and D district. He is running against some Dem from the State Legislature. The Dems are claiming that Wahlberg wants to END social security for seniors and the ads show all these old people wailing over their SS checks being in danger. What a load of baloney. Wahlberg supported Bush’s modest proposal to allow the younger workers has some degree of privatization for the younger workers’ accounts. When I saw these blatant lies in these ads (they are still running), I sent $100 to Wahlberg just so he could get on the air and rebut them. I think he is ahead in his seat, but the local tv stations here are in the tank for the Dems, so they wouldn’t announce a truthful poll if their license depended upon it.

I PUKE every time I see Senator Levin’s ads on TV. He is presenting himself as the 2nd coming to the Obama Messiah. THe Dem Senate seats here are so safe.

One of the Conservative Pacs are advertising heavily here in MI for McCain. They claim that they have narrowed this state to within 7 from 14 and think they can swing it more with more ads. They are saying that Obama pulled his ads and staff from the state because he perceived it to be safe. I have been trickling money over to them for these ads and they are on the air often. I have given them $700 over the past week. I am also heavily donated every few days to Russell in PA in his quest to send Murtha Packing.

I think Tuesday night is going to come out OK. If McCain is getting close again in MI, he has to be ahead in all the other swing states.

karenhasfreedom on October 30, 2008 at 7:55 PM

If this comes to pass, I want the House to SMASH socialism once and for all. I want filibusters, speeches after the lights go out, the works.

I don’t care if Obama is having sex in an inappropriate place, I want the Reps to address and demolish the progressive policy once and for all.

PattyJ on October 30, 2008 at 2:36 PM

From your pixels to God’s ears.

techno_barbarian on October 30, 2008 at 11:30 PM

If John McCain wins. How can we get rid of some of the kooks that are in Congress? To many of them have been there long enough. They need to go.

sheebe on October 31, 2008 at 1:02 AM

The Dem Party may be in for a big surprise. The American Public know that grid lock is the best form of governance today. So if Obombem is elected, then the public will insure a different party controls the House and Senate to provide grid lock and assure the balance of powers is in place.

MSGTAS on October 31, 2008 at 10:32 AM

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