Monday, May 22, 2006

Republican Troubles

There is now a growing recognition that the Republicans are in deep political trouble, a train wreck in slow motion as I have previously characterized it. Normally, what we are seeing will produce a dramatic political sea change, greater than the prognosticators typically foresee. There is a good summary of the changing landscape at the Emerging Democratic Majority web site. I would say we are headed for Democratic control of both the House and the Senate. I do not underestimate Republican cleverness and there are many months to go, but the key issues, the war and corruption, are now out of their control.

It must not be forgotten that the current House of Representatives is gerrymandered in favour of the Republicans. My forecast model calculates their advantage as being about eight percent. That means the Democrats must have a total vote at least eight points ahead of the Republicans to win a bare majority in the House. I suspect it would work out to slightly less but the disadvantage remains regardless. However, look at the spread in all the recent polls on the generic Congressional ballot. With one exception, the Democrats are 10 points or more ahead.

In 2004 the Republicans were three per cent ahead in the House of Representatives.

Is there anything the Republicans can do? Say gay bashing?

Frank Rich, in a column in Sunday’s New York Times, (you need a subscription to see the whole thing) cites a most interesting poll number:

“The number of Americans who "strongly oppose" same-sex marriage keeps dropping — from 42 percent two years ago to 28 percent today, according to the Pew Research Center…” The poll details show there is a clear trend on this.

This issue was a critical tool for the Republicans just two years ago, but this poll suggests that those who feel strongly about it, and therefore for whom it could motivate voting behaviour, are declining precipitously.

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