It’s getting closer to decision time – anyone have any predictions?
Generally, I think all the talk about actually changing control of one of chambers of Congress is just that – talk. I think the Republicans will do better than the conventional wisdom (CW) holds in the House races particularly - the Senate just happens to have some particular races coming up in this cycle that would indicate that the Dems may pick up seats (although they’re losing Connecticut - Lieberman is going to win and he’s not going to play nicely with the Dems w/r/t voting for leadership).
The Republicans overall seem to be picking up some support – don’t know if that’s just because the Democrats look bad in comparison when people actually get closer to making the decision in the voting booth. I certainly can’t point to any particular accomplishments from the GOP congress that would predicate the increase in popularity they’ve seen lately.
With regard to the current numbers and trends, Byron York lays them out - N.B. particularly the 2nd paragraph:
Republicans appear to be narrowing the Democratic lead in Congressional preference. In new Gallup poll, Democrats hold a two percentage-point lead ? the smallest in a year. In answer to the question, “If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district?” 47 percent of said the Democratic candidate, while 45 percent said the Republican candidate. That two-point gap is far smaller than 51-40 Democratic advantage just three weeks ago. In June, the Democratic advantage was 54-38; in April, it was 54-39; in March, it was 55-39; in February, it was 50-43; in January, it was 49-43; in October 2005, it was 50-43; and in August 2005, it was 53-41.
All those numbers are drawn from registered voters. Among people described as “regular voters” ? according to Gallup, “registered voters who say they ‘always vote’ and who say they voted in the last mid-term election,” in the new poll, Democrats and Republicans are tied, 48-48.