GOP Terror Alert: Flood Warning In New Poll genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Flood warning

Its long been said that what goes around comes around and a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll seems to be an indication that the GOP is fast approaching a first hand encounter with the short end of the proverbial stick. For the Party that has sought to make terror and fear the surf and turf of their pre-election voter menu, they may instead find themselves bogged down in the sands of scandal as a fast approaching wave is about to sweep them out of power in a classic example of voter house cleaning. With that said, the GOP still has enough time to prepare to forestall the fast approaching storm clouds.

"There is not a single number in here that would suggest the Democrats will not have their best showing in a decade -- and maybe two decades," says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff.

In the survey, Bush's approval rating is at 38 percent, a one-point decline from a previous NBC/Journal poll released earlier this month after the Foley news first broke. Perhaps more revealing, only 16 percent now approve of the job Congress is doing -- its lowest mark since 1992.

What's more, in this latest poll, just 32 percent of respondents see the Republican Party in a positive light, while 49 percent view it negatively. Those are the party's worst marks in the history of the poll. In contrast, voters -- by a 37-35 percent margin -- view the Democratic Party positively.

McInturff, the GOP pollster, observes that after several months when both parties have had net-negative ratings on this question, this is second-straight NBC/Journal survey in which a plurality of voters see Democrats in a positive light. Hart adds that Democrats have become a "marginally accepted alternative."

Clearly, the most significant finding in this new poll is that the Democrats may be finally closing the deal with voters...something they have been unable to achieve in recent election cycles. If the Democrats are in fact now seen as a favorable alternative to the GOP, it may well signal that the country has not only rejected more of the same from the Republican Party but decided that the nation needs to move in a decidedly new direction.

Moreover, 52 percent say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 37 percent who want Republicans to maintain power. It is the first time ever in this poll when a majority has sided with one party on this particular question. Earlier this month, Democrats held a nine-point advantage (48-39 percent).

While Republicans were already in a precarious position before the Foley scandal, Hart explains, it has become a final straw of sorts that might have sealed their fate. "It is the event that allowed certain voters to say, 'Enough.'"

All of these numbers seem to suggest that Democrats are poised to pick up a sizable number of seats in November, and maybe even regain control of Congress. Hart says it's been clear for the last several months that an electoral hurricane would be arriving on Election Day. The only question was how big it was going to be.

This new poll, he observes, signals that it will be a Category 4 or Category 5 storm. "Simply put, the low lying areas are [going to be] under water."

Back before the 2004 presidential election, I though I saw indications that the conservative evangelical movement had worn out its welcome...but despite the large increase in Democratic voters, I didn't anticipate that the GOP would succeed in motivating even more evangelicals to get out and vote. I could be wrong, but I expect that pattern to reverse this coming November as more moderate and independent minded voters conclude that a change is essential. Fear has served the GOP well...but it may well be fear that is their undoing...a fear that more of the same is far worse than the fear of the unknown. It sure looks like the GOP is now finding itself on the receiving end of a voter imposed terror advisory.

Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2006 | 6:16 PM
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1 On October 18, 2006 at 9:46 PM, SnarkyShark wrote —

Yep, fear of the unknown is less than fear of the known.

People now have enough grasp of history to understand where this road ends up.

Is it to late?

Read This
and wonder.

Hope everyone enjoyed their first day of no Habeas Corpus.

It rained here.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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