by Charles Lemos, Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 10:14:49 PM EDT
Public Policy Polling sums it up nicely:
This year isn't getting away from the Democrats because voters are moving toward the Republicans en masse. But the enthusiasm gap is turning races that would otherwise be lean Democratic into toss ups, turning toss ups into leaning Republican, and turning leaning Republican into solid Republican.
In terms of specifics, PPP examined ten races across the country and found that if the expected 2010 turnout matched the 2008 electorate then these races would either be solid Democratic, leaning Democratic or competitive. For example, Elaine Marshall running for Senate in North Carolina would have a small lead instead of trailing. Indeed, Senate races in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri would be competitive.
On our side, I guess we have the EQ going for us. The EQ? The Extremist Quotient. If it weren't for the fact that the Christian Reconstructionist Sharron Angle is the GOP nominee in Nevada, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would be trailing by double digits instead of leading by a point or two. That's an EQ of some 12-15 points. Or take the Alaska Senate race. If Murkowski had won the GOP nomination, she would have led in the polls by 25 points. Now that the Tea Party extremist Joe Miller is the GOP nominee, he leads Scott McAdams by just six for an EQ of 19 points.