Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

On Aug. 6, I posted about a YearlyKos panel during which pollster Stan Greenberg expressed unequivocal optimism about Democrats' chances in 2008. Chris Cillizza was there:

"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."

Now, we get a new Democracy Corps strategy memo written by Greenberg that elaborates on just why he is feeling so bullish on the Democrats in 2008 (h/t Political Wire.)

He begins:

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.

Tags: 2008 elections, Democracy Corps, Democrats (all tags)

Comments

37 Comments

Hillary people do not agree

From HWC attacking me on suggesting we can have a President who wins over 55% (which would be a realignment)

"It always amazes me that anyone who follows Presidential elections could suggest that the race will be anything but 50% - 50%, give or take 2%."

from Dem Dem "or are you on Peyote?  We will be very happy with 261 electoral votes and a plurality, thank you very much..."

I was just wondering what the Obama and Edwards folks thought about this idea?

by CardBoard 2007-08-13 06:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Out of curiosity, I plugged all of today's Intrade standings into an electoral map, just to see.

The result was 300 D - 238 R.

What it would equate to in the popular vote, I have no concept.

by Steve M 2007-08-13 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Well you are talking Ohio and maybe Iowa, New Mexico and Missouri added to Kerry's total.  If that panned out, I would guess 52-53 percent, assuming some shift in the solid GOP states as well.  Say from 40 to 44 percent for the Democrat.  Something like that.

by Todd Bennett 2007-08-13 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

I make 53-47 the best case scenario with wins in all the Kerry states plus Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Virginia and Arkansas.

by conspiracy 2007-08-14 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Add Arizona and West Virginia.  Those two are definitely in play.  Maybe Montana, too.

by admiralnaismith 2007-08-14 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Of course they don't agree. They don't see a reallignment happening. That was the central thrust of the FP post from her supporters today. Hillary Clinton is good because she can be our Trojan Horse. Not Hillary is good because she will lead the movement. Not Hillary is good because she will ensure the party will be strong for a decade or more. Not even Hillary is good because she will lead the country in a direction that the country has said it wants to go. No- Hillary is good- according to their openning salvo- because she voted on the war in what the diarist thought was a smart way. One thing I am guarantee will happen if she suceeds in winning. All of this energy that this poll data is suggesting is building towards a reallignment will be deflate like a ballon busting.

by bruh21 2007-08-13 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

I don't see why.

If we have another wave election resulting in a big Democratic majority in both houses, do you think Hillary is going to start vetoing progressive legislation or something?

by Steve M 2007-08-13 10:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Who sets the agenda for the country?

by bruh21 2007-08-14 04:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

You tell me.  The "New Deal" was FDR's campaign theme, but most of the actual programs we now label the New Deal originated in Congress.

Look, Hillary is cautious politically.  We can all agree on that.  But all it means is that she focuses on what's "politically possible," meaning she doesn't push the envelope, but also that she's receptive to whatever ideas do become possible.

If we had progressive leadership in Congress, I'm confident Hillary would be willing to use the bully pulpit on their behalf.  She's just not going to stick her neck out to push Congress in a more progressive direction; I completely agree with you that it's frustrating, but I disagree that it's fatal.

Nancy Pelosi is probably the right person in the House; she just needs a bit more of a majority.  Harry Reid, on the other hand, is a moderate pragmatist in the same mold as Hillary; he can stay in his job, but someone else would have to assume the leadership role on progressive initiatives.  Having more than a razor-thin majority will help, of course.

by Steve M 2007-08-14 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Also- you assume a victory regardless of who is at the top of the ticket.

by bruh21 2007-08-14 04:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

I assume nothing.  I was addressing your statement that if she wins, the progressive movement will lose its energy.

by Steve M 2007-08-14 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

When FDR got into office he was not a liberal.  He was pragmatic about his approach to government.  When he saw what was needed to fix this country however, he jumped right in.  We can't know how Hillary will govern until she gets in and confronts the problems.  Did we know when Bush was running as a compassionate conservative that he really wanted to be King?  Hillary is a Democrat.  She will govern accordingly.  

by changehorses08 2007-08-14 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Only a Republican troll would argue the Republicans have that much of a chance.  If the primaries were held today, the Republicans would nominated "Flip Flop" Romney.  PLEASE tell me how he can win 48-49% of the vote.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-08-13 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Huh? Geez, some of you are getting silly with this. Please stop with the spin and the hubris. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the quesiton this person poses except it means Democrats would have to actually think who we are nominating.

by bruh21 2007-08-13 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

There are enough reasons to believe that presidental elections will always be close. The GOP candidate always overperform on the generatic ticket for example.

The 50/50 theory is supported across candidates from progressive to moderate. And all sides use it to argue their pet stances.

Bruh21 uses it argue against Clinton in favor for a candidate he thinks is more progressive. Would that make him a troll? To call everybody who doesn't share your "clap harder" mentality a republican troll is idiotic. Your purity act is dishonest, false and counter productive.

by Ernst 2007-08-14 02:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary people do not agree

Greenberg and Democracy Corps are Clinton backers.

What the Clinton people say in private and what they are expecting are two different things.

by nanorich 2007-08-14 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

"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."

Yes! Yes! Yes!

That's it exactly.  And to do it, we have to aggressively build the party volunteer base NOW.  It's not too early to start canvassing for 2008, not for candidates, but for the party's general election nominees.  Really.  Watch NM turn a dark shade of blue in 11/08 when we elect a Democratic President, replace doddering Domenici, and finally  send Heather Weasel and her pederast husband back to whatever dark hole she crawled from.

by NM Ward Chair 2007-08-13 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

You go New Mexico--Thank you for all your hard work. I'm sure your state will be blue in 08.

by changehorses08 2007-08-14 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

I'm actually being perfectly serious when I say this.  Which Democrats do you think we should target for the Ned Lamont/Club for Growth treatment in the primaries?

by Anthony de Jesus 2007-08-13 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

However our current top tier presidential candidates are under-performing when going up against the Gop front runner.

I don't want to spill any cold water on this, but next year we cannot assume that the GOP will be in as bad shape as they are today.

by BDM 2007-08-13 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

You're right, they could be in even worse shape next year.  Regardless, Democrats need to be in position to take advantage of the current environment especially if it continues through next year.  We need to get those candidates in every Senate, House, and Governor's race along with state legislative races, county commission races, and so on down the line.  We need to reach deep into our pockets and make sure that our quality candidates have the money they need to compete.  We need a Presidential candidate who works hard to create coattails.  

by msstaley 2007-08-13 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

They might be in pretty good shape next year... the new media meme is that, "The surge is working!" If they keep repeating that lie long enough, people will believe it...  Petreus will come back and say that Baghdad is like Club Med... the Administration has ditched Karl Rove's "let's get Hispanics onboard" campaign and is now trying to get good press about controlling the border (which will make right wingers happier)...

And we still have September to see the Democrats cave again on some important bills...

Way too early to get cocky.. Back around this time in 1995, the Republicans were feeling pretty damn cocky about the next presidential election, too.

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-08-13 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

True- Huckabee for example is a real threat. But everyone has a bit of hubris thinking the entire GOP field is weak. Thats a big big mistake. Our choice of nominees as well right now- no one is really pushing hard beyond sound bite debates to test them.

by bruh21 2007-08-13 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

One question????? Who among the Republican candidates do you see looking better.  Its all about tired rhetoric and staying the course in this war of choice.  The Republican healthcare plan is to privatize all healthcare, so that 300 million Americans have to try to find coverage.  Nice real nice.  Why, they are on the same page as the rest of America!  NO WAY

by changehorses08 2007-08-14 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Longterm Realignment

Anyone in a solid blue district who votes with the Republicans regularly.  Al Wynn in MD-4 is the poster boy. His seat would stay Dem and could use a more progressive candidate.  Same with Lipinski in IL-3.

Heath Shuler in NC-11, not so much. Primary him, and his seat could well go back to Republican.

by admiralnaismith 2007-08-14 10:13AM | 0 recs
Thinking Realignment

I agree that it's very important to think in terms of winning a realigning election (which, historically, only happens in conjunction with 2 or more consecutive House wave elections).  It's not just important for us, it's important for beating up the M$M, too.  They need to be pounded over the head with this fact repeatedly from now until election day.

We know that they'll still write the same old crappy stories like they did after the 2006 election.  But we want them to know that they're just rightwing tools as they do so. And that's important because when they do, we need to be prepared to mount the mother of all push-backs.

We can't expect any kind of honeymoon period.  But we can expect to be fired up for one hell of a fight come January 2009.  And the media, not the GOP, will be our #1 enemy.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-08-13 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Thinking Realignment

The problem is that there are forces in the party that are at odds with reallignment. If you are strictly talking shift in party, that may happen for a few years. However, if you are talking idealogical shift, that would require the right leadership. Do you see that leadership coming to power right now? I don't. I see the same generation of Democrats who spent much of their time defending rather than going on teh offensive against the Reagan revolution. Those people and that generation is who is in charge now.

by bruh21 2007-08-13 08:56PM | 0 recs
Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

"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"

The problem with the second half of that statement is we have front page bloggers saying we need to primary oust Democrats who voted the wrong way on a single bill.  The person who decides "Who we want to run" will probably be messing with our chances more than helping it based on poor qualifiers.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-08-13 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

Jeremiah--it ticks me off when some of the bloggers want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.  We may have some blue dog Dems from states where it would be impossible to elect a liberal but they are Democrats.  They may not vote with us 100% of the time but would it be better to have Republicans in those seats who never vote with us?

Thanks for you comment.

by changehorses08 2007-08-14 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

A good number of blue dogs and new dems who vote poorly are in safe blue areas. I only advocate primarying those who are in those safe seats and those who attack other democrats and the democratic party constantly, which are few in number.

by Quinton 2007-08-14 10:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

Which ones are you referring to?

by changehorses08 2007-08-16 12:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

I agree with you.  

by changehorses08 2007-08-16 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Longterm Realignment In Democrats' Favor

I agree with you.  

by changehorses08 2007-08-16 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

The irony of these numbers coupled with Rove's "retirement" is quite extraordinary.

He got his permanent majority alright--a Democratic one.

by need some wood 2007-08-14 12:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Democracy Corps Strategy Memo Sees Longterm Re

presumably independents and disgusted republicans are looking for reasons that they could vote democratic. It would be best itf it was possible to give them the reasons...without of course alienating the actual democrats and progressives, being wishy-washy, or sacrificing progressive goals. An intelligent, non-threatening, inclusive dialog of progressivism is needed.

It is also worth noting in the potential of a landslide and the eventual reduction of the destructive impacts of the bush years and neocon influence (which aren't going away even if bush does...neither are the Federalists or xtian fundamentalists) that increasing the quantity of democrats will unavoidably result in increasing friction among democrats. Already it is clear that the destructive influence of so-called "Blue Dogs" needs to be overcome. A strategy of maintaining and moving forward a progressive agenda is needed.

All this means is that an overarching comprehensive progressive VISION of America and the means to attain it is needed.
.

by gak 2007-08-14 05:09AM | 0 recs
More needs to be done in Congress

Minimum wage and lobbying reform aside, more needs to be done.

Republicans are being successful in painting this Congress in a bad way  - not getting things done - because all the focus is on the war votes and the attorney scandel, both areas where Republicans can stymie Democrats until kingdom come.  

We need to pass some more bread and butter legislation and I would hope there are 1 or 2 good wedge votes in store for the summer of '08.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-14 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: More needs to be done in Congress

Problem is when we pass the bread and butter issues Bush vetoes them and the media uses the Republican talking points -- The Democratic Congress has accomplished nothing.  I hope ads are issued which show exactly which bills Bush has vetoed and how those bills, if passed, would have impacted this nation. It would help if some of the liberal bloggers would stop calling the Democrats wimps and realized what a difficult climate exists in Washington to accomplish anything. Three cheers for the Democratic Congress.  Harry and Nancy--God Bless You

by changehorses08 2007-08-14 10:21AM | 0 recs

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