Who’s Popular Now?

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We don’t usually do polls or horse-race stuff around these parts, but hell, there are midterms coming up this fall, and Steve Benen of the Carpetbagger Report has some polling data spelling moderately good news for Democrats. For the past year or so, polls have shown that voters were dissatisfied with Republican rule—not to mention soured the Bush administration in general—but weren’t all that high on the minority party either. Now that all seems to be changing, and by very large margins voters are picking Democrats in “generic” congressional ballots and telling surveys that they’d prefer to see the Democratic Party control the House and Senate this fall.

Whether that translates into an actual change in who controls Congress remains to be seen. This country does, after all, have a highly gerrymandered House set-up, which makes it very hard for the balance of power to change, even when the national mood favors the minority party so heavily. Seats are won district by district, and the Washington Post reported recently that the Democrats may not have enough competitive candidates to win the 15 seats they need to retake the House, barring a truly massive anti-incumbency atmosphere come 2006. I guess the proper thing to do at this point would be to add, “But who knows?,” so make of this all what you will.

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