From The Marston Chronicles
There has been a definite fall off in the Republicans prospects for this year. Our average of the opposition to Obama care had reached as high as 17% opposed and now it is only 11%. Obama's disapproval rating has never gotten above 50% in our average and does not look like it will any time soon. Finally and worst of all, the Republican edge in the generic ballot polling has lost a point in Rasmussen Reports and this figure is backed up by identical results in another likely voter poll from McLaughlin & Associates. As you know from our Handicapping Control of the House article, in midterm elections, the generic ballot results are a predictor of the percentage of the vote percentage of the two major parties. That in turn gives an estimate of the seats each party will wind up with in the election.
The table in our article shows that a drop from 8 to 7 points in the generic ballot translates to a failure to gain 8 more seats than would otherwise be the case. Another factor to consider is what the various polls in the House races are telling us as shown in our A Reality Check article. That showed that we were erroneously favoring the Republicans in 4 out of 5 cases. Between these two factors, it was obviously time for us to adjust our projections once again. The end results of that is that we are now projecting a gain of 56 seats instead of 63 seats for a drop of 7 seats for the Republicans.
Once race in IA-1 has dropped out of being in play. The races that returned to being now more likely to be retained by the Democrats are AR-4, CA-10, IL-14, IL-17, NY-1, NY-19, NC-8 and OR-5. There was one offset where ND-AL moved from a toss-up favoring Democrats to one favoring Republicans. We may be Republican analysts but we are very careful to adjust our ratings in whichever direction is required by the shifting political winds. Still none of these adjustments jeopardize the projected Republican control of the House. A net gain of 56 seats produces a 234 to 201 seat majority for the Republicans and that still is even better than what happened in 1994 by a few seats.
What is causing this drop off? One must remember that very little of the projected big gains for the Republicans is due to voters suddenly favoring the Republicans. It is primarily due to dissatisfaction with the Democrats and there is really no real other choice but the Republicans. Perhaps the change is due to people turning to third parties in a "pox on both your parties" attitude. It could also be that there is nothing going on other than suggestions that the Democrats will still try to jam through their Obama care plan. What turned things dramatically better for the Republicans was the Christmas Eve vote on the Senate version of Obama care.
The Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback really turned the voters off. The Democrats still have the opportunity to once again annoy the voters and help out the Republicans by trying to bend the rules and pass Obama care with reconciliation or the so-called Slaughter proposal. If they come to their senses and stop pushing Obama care, we will undoubtedly wind up making more adjustments in their favor.