Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor
by Todd Beeton, Mon Aug 13, 2007 at 06:35:05 PM EDT
"Do not think conservatively," said Greenberg during a panel discussion on the impact of Iraq on polling and the coming election. "The idea of a 50-seat-plus majority [in the House] is real."
At important turning points, we like to pause and look at the whole database of surveys conducted by Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner - focusing in particular on the 4,000 interviews conducted during the last four months. There are big changes here that have an enduring quality, with the opportunity to shape the parties' prospects in 2008.
In other words, their findings, based on a huge sample size over several months, is not a blip on the radar, but rather signals a longterm shift. A sample of some of their more stunning findings is below:
- The Democrats' lead in both the Presidential (51%-39%) and Congressional races (51%-42%) is undiminished in the 'core' group of the most likely voters.
- While the Democratic Presidential candidate is winning the Kerry counties by a two-to-one margin, the Republican candidate is only winning the Bush counties by 1 point (46 to 45 percent). The Republican nominee will struggle to come back in the battleground states.
- The Democratic Presidential candidate is carrying those with family members serving in Iraq by almost the same margin as for voters overall, 50 to 43 percent. Democratic Congressional candidates who have been prominently trying to change Iraq policy have an even larger lead, 53 to 42 percent.
- The big difference in the race is independents: Presidentially, Democrats are ahead by 19 points; Congressionally, by 14 points. It is the crash with independents more than Republican defections that is driving the Republican vote down.
- One of the key blocs of `base' voters for Democrats is unmarried women - who could comprise a quarter of the electorate. The Democrats are winning them by two to one; they are winning white unmarried women by over 20 points.
As a point of reference, a memo released by Democracy Corps on Nov. 2, 2006 showed Democrats with an 11-point generic congressional advantage in the top 50 most competitive districts. The final vote (nationwide) went to the Demcorats by just under 12%.
Now, some say it's dangerous to talk about these rosy predictions, that we risk getting complacent and that predicting huge wins lets our Democratic leaders off the hook -- if they're just going to win anyway, what incentive do they have to be better? Well, putting aside for a moment that I doubt there's 1 Democrat who would be complacent about reclaiming the presidency after the 8 disastrous years we've just had, I tend to agree with Stoller, who said:
It's time to begin planning for a Democratic landslide election, and working to think through how to position progressive Democrats.
If we accept 'more Democrats' as a baseline assumption for 2008, we can work toward fulfilling the second half of the equation: electing better Democrats.