The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The wave?

The enigmatic Shallow Larynx passed Charlie Cook's latest column my way, and it's got more good news than usual for Democrats.

Virtually no one argues against the proposition that the potential for a big wave for Democrats exists. Those who focus on the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, see President Bush's low, though somewhat improved job-approval ratings, or scrutinize the latest national generic Congressional ballot poll numbers the way a horse racing fan seizes on the Daily Racing Form are more likely to see a change of control. A more nuanced view held by some veteran Republican strategists involves turnout. In looking at the 2005 gubernatorial race in Virginia, those strategists point to a Republican and conservative base in Virginia that was unmotivated, causing the party to lose a race they had once thought they had in the bag. They fear a low turnout on the GOP side could be devastating, while Democrats, who are hungrier from being out of power, may be more likely to show up on Nov. 7.

Cook states that Bush's numbers have been rising, but the latest polls show them dropping again to his all-time love of 36% approval, which is dismal. The election is still a long way off, but Abramoff, domestic spying, Iraq, the economy, and bread-and-butter issues like education and health care aren't helping the GOP one bit.

To make a long article short, he currently seems to agree with this (admittedly conservative) assessment-- the Dems are likely to pick up about 6 House seats and 4 Senate seats. But this assumes that all things are equal, and don't take into account factors like Abramoff or domestic spying.

So we find ourselves in a position where we stand to make substantial gains, but with a strong grassroots/netroots effort, it could turn into a rout. It should give you some comfort as we brace for the fight.