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According to the latest Gallup poll, Republicans now lead by ten points in the generic ballot — 51 percent to 41 percent. That is the largest lead Republicans have ever had in sixty years of polling on this question by Gallup. Much smaller leads, such as in 1994 and 2002, have translated into significant Republican gains.
Yet as one Robert Stacy McCain recently reminded us, polls are not campaigns. The Republican ground game is nowhere near the level of the Democrats in 2008 or the Bush-era GOP in 2004. There is no evidence the Tea Party has compensated for this. Many Republican challengers in key swing districts remain underfunded. The Republicans’ national campaign committees are generally at a disadvantage to their Democratic counterparts and it has shown in most of the recent House special elections. Quin mentions some other factors cutting strongly against Republicans here.
Then again, I’ll repeat the same thing I was saying to Republican dead-enders in 2006: If your base is disenchanted, the other side’s base is fired up, and swing voters hate you, you are going to lose elections. We are seeing Republican primary turnout in states like Colorado and Washington exceed Democratic turnout. In Colorado, the losing Republican Senate candidate, Jane Norton, got more votes than the Democratic winner, incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.
Republican complacency could still blow the midterms elections. I fully expect Republicans to lose some races that they would have won in either 1994 or 2002. But there does come a point where the national mood is so powerful that not even the Republicans can bungle it. Take a look at the rare special election victory for Republicans, Scott Brown in Massachusetts: it came in a case where the swing voters were fed up, the Democratic candidate was a walking turnout-depresser, and the national GOP got involved too late to screw things up. Whether that happens on a massive enough scale to flip a house of Congress remains to be seen. But the proper Republican mood at this point is neither triumphalism nor despair.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?