Monday, August 07, 2006

Charlie Cook: "GOP Hill Gets Steeper"

Charlie Cook, one of the most respected Washington political analysts, has updated his projections for the 2006 elections. Cook's analysis contains no good news for Republicans. For Democrats, however, the news could not be any better. Cook foresees a huge Democratic wave sweeping across the entire country, saying:
In terms of the political climate, the facts are clear. All of the traditional diagnostic indicators in major national polls taken in the past 10 days show numbers consistent with an electoral rout.
Opinions of Congress continue to be incredibly low:
On Congress' approval rating, the Cook/RT and CBS/NYT polls found just 28 percent approved of the job Congress was doing. It was 25 percent in the NBC/WSJ survey. Those numbers are a shade better than at this point in 1994, but still in the same horrific category.

On the generic congressional ballot, Democrats were ahead by 13 points among registered voters, 49 percent to 36 percent in the Cook/RT poll, and by 10 points in the other two. In 1994 NBC/WSJ polling, Republicans were still 5-6 points behind in both second- and early third-quarter polling, but surged to a 5-point lead in the final pre-election poll.
Democratic voters are much more eager to vote as well:
When asked to rate how interested they are in the upcoming election on a scale of one to 10, with 10 representing "extremely interested," 44 percent of registered voters chose the top number in the Cook/RT poll. Turnout will probably be a little more than one-third, but less than this 44 percent. Among those with the highest level of interest, Democrats had a 19-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 52 percent to 33 percent.
Finally, Cook's take on the Democrats' chances of taking the fifteen seats needed to regain the House majority:
In the House, where Democrats need a 15-seat gain to win a majority, Republicans have 15 seats that the Cook Political Report currently rates as toss-ups. No Democratic seats remain in that column. Another 21 GOP seats are rated as leaning Republican.

In a very large tidal-wave election, as this one appears to be, it would not be unusual to see all toss-ups go to one party, along with a few out of the leaning column as well. Republicans might lose their House majority just in the seats in which they are behind or in which their edge is within a poll's margin of error.
Cook's analysis points to a tremendous Democratic wave in November. The desire for change is spreading across the entire country. People are sick and tired of the Republican status quo. If all goes well, Nancy Johnson will be one of the many Republicans shipped out of Washington by a new Democratic wave.

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