Who’s Popular Now?


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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