The Shutdown Might Be Hurting the GOP's Chances in Next Year's Election

| Tue Oct. 8, 2013 10:03 AM PDT

Poll analyst extraordinaire Sam Wang thinks that things are looking fairly bleak for Republicans right now:

PPP surveyed 24 Congressional districts currently held by Republicans. They asked voters to choose between their current representative and a generic Democrat....The swing was toward Democrats for 23 races [] and toward the Republican for 1 race.

....Since the election is over a year away, it is hard to predict how this will translate to future seat gain/loss. If the election were held today, Democrats would pick up around 30 seats, giving them control of the chamber. I do not expect this to happen.

....In a followup series of questions, PPP then told respondents that their representative voted for the shutdown. At that point, the average swing moved a further 3.1% toward Democrats....That would be more like a 50-seat gain for Democrats — equivalent to a wave election. An analyst would have to be crazy to predict that!

I would echo Wang's caution. It's quite normal for Democrats to perform well in generic congressional polls 6-9 months before a midterm election, so this probably doesn't mean much. As for the shutdown, I think it's an open question whether that's still going to be a live issue by next November. It might be! Or it might have been completely forgotten. I just wouldn't put much stock in this either way.

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