Inside a Month to Go
Wednesday October 6, 2010
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We are now 27 days from election day; no matter how desperately the popular press tries to find good news for Democrats, the news is still very, very bad for them.
Here's an example. There was a major poll reported in yesterday's Washington Post. This was the headline.
This was front page; just beneath the masthead.
What's the point? The point is: the headline could have just as easily have read:
strong edge in poll
Democrats make slight gains
But … they didn't.
Here's an example of why the news remains favorable for the GOP.
Among likely voters (remember they're the only one's we're concerned about from this point until election day) the generic vote favors Republicans 49 percent to 43 percent. Plus six.
That's noted in the summary with the notation that "Democrats have cut in half" that advantage since the poll taken about a month ago.
The Mr. Mullings analysis takes us into the Wayback Machine to look at the generic vote in 1994 when the GOP led by two percentage points about a month out from that election. And we remember what happened in that election. Republicans picked up 54 seats.
Not only that, but even though the generic vote in polls was 49-47, on election day 52 percent of Americans who went to the polls voted for the Republican candidate while only 45 percent voted for the Democrat, an advantage of plus seven.
Republicans tend to over-perform the generic vote, especially in mid-terms. We'll see if that pattern holds.
This is my favorite thing; quoting me.
The AP's Tom Raum called the other day to ask me what I thought the political outfall from voting for the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) might be.
"It was clear that when Lehman went down, we were within hours of no ATM machines working any more," said GOP strategist Rich Galen. The bailout "was unfortunately necessary," Galen said, and then it was followed by disclosures of big bonuses, executives' golden parachutes, golf outings and parties while Wall Street banks took government money.
Last night the folks at CNN had their knickers in a major twist over Newt's suggestion that candidates consider the fact that more food stamps were in June than in any time in American history.
Newt's suggestion is that candidates close their campaigns by pointing out "the difference between the Democratic party of food stamps and the Republican party of paychecks."
Host John King read that as Newt wanting to cut off food stamps for people who need them. I tried to explain that I believe the point Newt was making was that it is the tax increases of Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress are creating the economic environment leading to 40 million people needing food stamps.
I didn't convince him, but I think a candidate who carefully laid out the predicate that he or she is in favor of providing help for those who are in the most need, but changing the course of the economy will only be achieved by creating more jobs for more people so they don't need the government's help can make the case.
Last item: Remember that Christine O'Donnell told Bill Maher that she had "dabbled in witchcraft" when she was young? Yesterday her campaign released a TV ad in which she states that "I am not a witch."
Putting aside, for the moment, the violation of the rule against repeating the negative in your own defense, her campaign shot the ad with her wearing a black dress against a deep blue-black background.
I said on CNN that all she was missing was the Sorting Hat and a Quidditch broom.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: The WashPost poll, the Newt Memo, a link to the "I am not a witch" ad, and the Wikipedia entry for Quidditch.
Said Galen: "It quickly became seen as a bailout for people who were in danger of losing their summer house in the Hamptons as opposed to the guy with the hardware store on Main Street who was left dangling."
Also, an interesting Mullfoto and a very funny Catchy Caption of the Day.
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