How Bad Will It Be?

Everyone has seen the generic polls showing the Democrats way ahead going into the election season’s home stretch. They don’t mean much, of course, but there is lot of bad data on individual races, too. Rasmussen Reports is a repository of bad news, with President Bush’s approval rating down to 41% again–all this talk about instant messages has apparently caused some people to forget about terrorism–and Rasmussen now has the Senate at 49-49, with two toss-ups. And the Democrats have a five point lead in party identification. Here in Minnesota, the national Democratic Party has canceled $2 million in advertising they had planned to run on behalf of Amy Klobuchar, evidently thinking she has the race won.
Real Clear Politics highlights a few pieces of rare good news for Republicans: Corker has taken a two-point lead over Ford in the latest Survey USA poll, and Republican Geoff Davis has pulled ahead in Kentucky’s 4th District. I’ll add one more: yesterday’s Morning Call survey has Senator Santorum within five points of Bob Casey. Some other polls, however, show Casey with a considerably bigger lead.
We live in a political world so topsy-turvy that a Democrat-leaning mainstream media can parlay a handful of racy instant messages by an obscure Congressman into an issue that apparently causes millions of Americans to decide to vote for Democrats. This makes predictions difficult, especially if, as I suspect, the Dems have one more dirty trick up their sleeve in the last ten days of the campaign. At this point, it appears that the Republican majorities in both House and Senate are poised on a knife edge. If we can have four weeks of normal campaigning between now and November 7, I still think enough Republicans will get their messages out to hold both chambers. But that’s a big “if.”

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