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Getting the popcorn ready
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, November 05, 2006

Because for political junkies, "The Show" is about to come to town:
In an interview from her Capitol office, Pelosi characterized Tuesday's vote as a referendum on the war, shrugged off President Bush's efforts to make her liberalism a national issue, described the current GOP leadership as a "freak show," and expressed confidence about her party's prospects to pick up the 15 seats it needs for a majority.

"I know where the numbers are in these races, and I know that they are there for the 15; today (it's) 22 to 26," Pelosi said Friday.
If it is a referendum on Iraq as Pelosi claims, she might want to look at a couple of points from the Washington Post's latest poll on some of the issues, such as Iraq. The numbers are tightening as Nov 7th approaches:
Who do you trust on Iraq (RV)? Dem 42, Rep 42, up from Dem 48, Rep 40

Party that best reflects your values (RV): Dems 48, Rep 44, up from Dems 53, Reps 37
Starting to shift right?

Even more interesting. The famous "generic Democrat":
Generic Likely Voter, Dem +6 (down from Dem +14)
Folks, for what they're worth, those are significant moves.

Not that it means that the Dems won't win the House. But it is certainly tight enough that I wouldn't be measuring the place for drapes just yet.

On the Senate side, I was amazed today to see Lincoln Chaffee up by 1 point in the latest Mason-Dixon Senate poll. I'd all but written him off. In fact, if you look at the M-D poll results (look to the left on the page and down under the "Real Clear Politics" banner) you'll see that all of the key Senate races (with the exception of OH and PA) have tightened into dead heats (or at least into the margin of error for the poll).

Tuesday night will indeed be an interesting night.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

whatever does happen I so much want Lincoln Chafee to lose.
Written By: kyle N
I have the corn waitin’ to pop when the lawsuits start to be filed. Ooooh this is going to be fun.
Written By: John
I have a hypothesis I’d like to put forth. Now keep in mind what the word "hypothesis" means. I’m not saying this is true - just that it might be an explanation worth investigating.

I’ve noted that the polls in the last few elections have almost all tended to start out favoring Democrats, and then veer Republican. I think one potential explanation is the element of self-selection in today’s polls.

We all know Internet polls, in which the respondents are self-selected, don’t really tell us much about how the population at large feels. But it’s clear to me that even professional polls have some degree of self-selection by the respondents, because of the capability to opt out. People can avoid pollsters via caller ID, or refuse to take a poll, or whatever. Some people use mobile phones as their primary phone at least partially because unsolicited calls from telemarketers and pollsters are very rare on them.

Pollsters have noted the increasing turn-down rates they’ve been getting on calls for polls. So the element of self-selection has becoming more prevalent over in recent years.

Now here’s the hypothesis. Citizens who are dissatisfied with the those currently in power are, I think, more likely to respond to pollsters (not opt out) earlier in the election cycle. Thus they might have a tendency to be over-represented in early polls.

As the election nears, those who are more complacent about the party in power become more interested in the election and less likely to opt out, and to express a more definite opinion when they do take polls. It might be that the pollsters just can’t get these folks on the phone as much as they’d like early in the election season, but they can later, and that accounts for the drift in favor of Republicans.

Now I realize that the pollsters do the best they can to balance out their samples. But the more "self-selection" (because others opt out) is going on, the harder it is to create such samples. Maybe they just have not found a way in their methodologies to correct for such a effect that varies over time

Just an idea.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Internals are very different in this WaPo poll. Self-described liberals dropped from 21% to 18%%, and conservatives jumped from 34% to 37%. That’s not real movement. That’s just a different sample. And it explains the entire shift. FWIW, the 2004 exit poll had 21% liberals and 34% conservative. Any poll that strays from that too far is using a screwy sample; and yes, it can go in either direction. Pew’s poll today showing "tightening" among likely voters has an absurd 39-16 advantage of conservatives over liberals. Calibrate it for the real ideological makeup of voters (and liberals have been pissed for years; they’re showing up as much as they did in 2004) and there’s no tightening at all.

Pollsters are trying different likely voter models because they’ve gotten the generic ballot wrong so many times before. Interestingly, Gallup’s last poll is usually very close to the actual result. They just came out with the Dems up 51-44, exactly what they had in 1994 for the Republicans. Gerrymandering affects individual races, of course, but I think 7 points is reasonable.
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
Not that it means that the Dems won’t win the House. But it is certainly tight enough that I wouldn’t be measuring the place for drapes just yet
Tight? How can it be tight with this Democrat "wave" I’ve been reading all this breathless coverage about?

I personally like the "wave" storyline. Overconfidence and smugness may keep a few Dems home. After all, it’s a Dem wave! No need to rush out and vote. I’m pretty sure the GOP GOTV will do it’s job.

Is that going to be enough? To be determined....
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
No, the interesting show to watch will be all the pundits and their spin come Wednesday morning.

As blah as I am about the elections (Don’t want either team to win, personally), the only thing fun will be watching the wings of each side implode as nobody’s predictions come true and each side blames something other than their lackluster politicians’ stances.
Written By: Robb Allen

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