Morning After Reading

Thought I would share some of my morning reading.  It will not cheer our Democratic readers and Republicans should not cheer too soon.  Along time ago it was said “a day is a year in politics”.

House Democrats, already facing a perilous midterm landscape, wake up this morning to a bracing round of Midwestern polling data from the conservative American Action Forum. The group’s new survey, conducted across nine Democratic-held congressional districts by the GOP firm Ayres McHenry, shows Republicans with a five-point edge in a generic ballot test. They currently lead Democrats by a gap of 38 percent to 33 percent. By a lopsided 65 percent to 26 percent, voters in the districts said the country is on the wrong track. The district-by-district polls, each of which tested 400 likely voters, showed Democratic incumbents trailing in SIX of the competitive races.

SEAT BY SEAT: Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell and Michigan Rep. Mark Schauer are both down by 10 points to their GOP challengers. Ohio Reps. Steve Driehaus and Mary Jo Kilroy trail by two and five points, respectively, while a third Ohio congressman, John Boccieri, is behind by 14 percentage points. In Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen – not viewed as one of the cycle’s most endangered members – is facing a 10-point deficit against Republican Reid Ribble. Just three of the incumbents tested were ahead: Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and Ohio’s Betty Sutton, each of whom had a two-point lead; and Missouri Rep. Russ Carnahan, who was 16 points ahead of challenger Ed Martin. Get the full data here.

THE BIGGER 2010 PICTURE – “Dems privately fear House prospects worsening” – POLITICO’s VandeHei, Isenstadt and Allen: “In conversations with more than two dozen party insiders, most of whom requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of play, Democrats in and out of Washington say they are increasingly alarmed about the economic and polling data they have seen in recent weeks. They no longer believe the jobs and housing markets will recover … They are even more concerned by indications that House Democrats once considered safe – such as Rep. Betty Sutton, who occupies an Ohio seat that President Barack Obama won with 57 percent of the vote in 2008 – are in real trouble. ‘Democrats kept thinking: “We’re going to get better. We’re going to get well before the election,”’ said one of Washington’s best-connected Democrats. ‘But as of this week, you now have people saying that Republicans are going to win the House. And now it’s starting to look like the Senate is going to be a lot closer than people thought.’”

GAME CHANGE: DEMS PRIVATELY FEAR THE HOUSE IS GONE – Jim VandeHei, Alex Isenstadt and Mike Allen: “Top Democrats are growing markedly more pessimistic about holding the House, privately conceding that the summertime economic and political recovery they were banking on will not likely materialize by Election Day. … A Democratic pollster working on several key races said, ‘The reality is that [the House majority] is probably gone.’ His data show the Democrats’ problems are only getting worse. ‘It’s spreading’ … Republicans need to pick up 39 seats, and polls show most voters still have a downbeat view of the GOP’s ability to govern … ‘We have been saying for the past 18 months this will be a politically challenging environment,’ said DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen. ‘That being said, we will retain the majority in the House. All of what you are hearing is the inside-the-Beltway chatter.’ A top House Democratic strategist conceded pessimism is spreading rapidly – but mainly in Washington. This strategist said the mood among individual candidates, many of whom enjoy a considerable cash advantage, is more upbeat.”

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