NPR Polling on 50 Most Competitive Districts
by MetaData, Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 11:18:39 PM EDT
Mystery Pollster has a spectacular analysis of The NPR Survey and the Race for Control of Congress of the recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner-NPR polling on the 50 most competitive House districts. Both MP's analysis and the polling itself is fascinating:
If the election were held today, the results of the NPR survey indicate a much different overall outcome than in 2004 or 2002. Republicans won 55% of the vote cast in these districts in 2004 and 58% of the votes cast their in 2002, but the Republican candidates are currently preferred by only 43% of the voters in the NPR survey. The gap is similar across various sub-groupings of districts reported in the survey.
See more from MP and a list of the districts below...
The races with which I am most familiar include CO-07 (sure to go Dem) and CO-04, which is held by the odious, gay-baiting, "Lady in Pink" Marilyn Musgrave. My take on CO-04 is that the Northern Colorado district is more even than the Dem/Rep/Indep registration ratios indicate, and that the Indies in Colorado typically vote 2/3 for the Dems. On the difficult side, Indy turn out is lower in an off year election. The CO-04 wild card is the implosion of the GOP as theo-cons and lbertarian-cons seize control of the Part, which has led to a third Party bid by an establishment, old-school Republican.
Using polling data to follow the battle for control of the House is a tough task. While a number of different polling organizations will track the competitive races for the U.S. Senate, public polls on individual House Races are relatively few and far between. National polls tend to focus on the so-called "generic vote" that asks about voting for the "the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate" rather than candidate names. For now, these surveys typically report results among registered voters in all 435 House districts nationally rather than the most competitive seats that will decide the outcome.
That's what makes the design of the NPR survey so helpful. According to the summary on the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner web site, they selected 50 House districts as most competitive based on their rankings by the best known congressional handicappers (Charlie Cook, Stu Rothernberg, Larry Sabato and the Hotline).
Here are the districts:
The congressional districts were selected based on their ranking by the Cook Political Report, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball (UVA Center for Politics), the Rothenberg Political Report, and the National Journal's Hotline. They include 40 Republican seats, 1 Independent seat, and 9 Democratic seats. 12 of the districts are open seats (10 Republican, 1 Independent, 1 Democrat). They are listed as follows: