With President Bush’s job approval ratings consistently hovering around 30-percent, the standard Republican retort is that the ratings of the Democratic controlled Congress are even lower. Of course, there are two parties in Congress, and so it begs the question whether voters are a bit more discerning in attributing responsibility for their profound sense of disappointment…
According to the latest USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Feb. 8-10, 2008, only 41% of adults likely to vote this November say they would support the Republican candidate running in their congressional district. Fifty-five percent say they would vote for the Democratic candidate.
The current 14-point margin in favor of the Democrats among likely voters is one of the highest Gallup has seen in recent years, along with two others late in the 2006 campaign.
Of course the election is still a long way off, and that margin could fluctuate wildly between now and November, but a similar result during the final days of the campaign would almost surely predict significant Democratic pickups in the House. And with Democrats holding substantial advantages in both voter enthusiasm and party identification (the Republicans lowest score in 20 years,) a second wave election remains a definite possibility.
One of the knocks against Darcy Burner we’ve frequently heard from concern trolls and self-soothing Reichertphiles is that if she couldn’t ride the big blue wave to victory in 2006, she doesn’t stand a chance against the two-term incumbent in 2008, an analysis that purposefully ignores a host of factors working in her favor the second time around. Near parity in name ID, a widening fundraising advantage, shifting suburban demographics, presidential year turnout and potentially long coattails emanating from the top of the ticket all lead me to believe that with or without a wave, Burner will be in a significantly stronger position in November than she was during her 2006 nail biter. And now it seems likely that she’ll have a second chance to ride that wave.