Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ray of hope?

I said in the past that I think it's unlikely Democrats will retake either the House or the Senate, and that if they do the margin of control will likely be very small, which would be bad. I don't believe much in national generic polls (that is, polls that ask people nationally whether they plan to vote Republican or Democrat this fall), so I've had zero faith in Democrats' generic poll leads. People are much more likely than not to reelect an incumbent even if they dislike his/her party. They don't vote for parties, they vote for candidates.

This NPR-commissioned poll (PDF; via MyDD) is the first thing that really makes me think Democrats might have a shot.

The poll covers the 50 "most competitive" districts this election, which happens to work out to 40 seats now held by Republicans. By way of background, the composition of the House is now 231 Republican, 201 Democrat, 1 Independent (who caucuses D), and 2 vacant (Menendez and DeLay, I think). So Democrats have to win about 15 seats to flip the chamber.

That's why this is so interesting.





So Democrats don't have to worry about holding any of their current seats. They're crushing in those districts. And they have a slight generic lead in the 40 Republican-held seats, of which they need to carry only 15. More impressive yet, Democrats have an edge outside the margin of error when candidates are named.

Let's say this makes me nudge my mental odds of Democrats retaking the House from 3:1 against to something like 5:2.

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