Optimism? Why Not?

Have the polls always been as variable as they are this year? It’s funny how hard it is to remember from one election season to the next, but I don’t think so. I think there is more volatility and uncertainty this year, maybe because the underlying trends that start to emerge when we have a week or two of calm keep getting scrambled by external events, like the recent financial crisis in its several manifestations.

For what it’s worth, here are a few items of good news from current polls. Nationally, the Democrats’ advantage in generic Congressional preference narrowed last week, in Rasmussen’s survey, by two points. It’s now at six points and falling. If it drops another point or two in the next week, that indicator, at least, will suggest a pretty good year for the Dems, but nothing like the blowout of 2006.

In Pennsylvania, it appears that Jack Murtha may be in deep trouble. We linked a day or two ago to a poll that showed his race with Bill Russell, a formidable conservative challenger, within the margin or error. Michelle Malkin says she’s been “leaked” a poll by Dane and Associates that has Russell leading Murtha by a remarkable 13 points. I haven’t seen this poll reported anywhere else, but when a Congressman calls his constituents “racists” and “rednecks,” it shouldn’t be a shock if they decide it’s time for him to go. You can donate to Bill Russell’s campaign here and help make it happen. An election in which Mad Jack gets ejected from the House of Representatives isn’t all bad, no matter what else happens.

Finally, closer to home, St. Cloud State University, where King Baniain presides over the economics department, released a poll this morning that shows Norm Coleman with a comfortable lead over Al Franken, 36% to 27%, with third party candidate Dean Barkley at 16%. The SCSU poll was unique in that it made a strong effort to include cell-phone-only users, but this didn’t seem to make any perceptible difference in the Senate race. The same poll had Obama leading McCain by only five points in Minnesota. So maybe it’s an outlier; but with only nine days to go, if no more disasters occur there are some reasons, at least, to hope that this election season won’t be all bad for Republicans and the conservative movement.

Of course, no matter what you think about the polls, Republicans should keep working, and keep donating, right up to the finish line.

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