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September 26, 2013

Democratic Poll Analyst Charlie Cook: Warning Signs for Democrats for 2014

Independents looking very red. But can the GOP actually make a sale?

Democrats Need to Keep an Eye on Republican-Tilting Independent Voters

With polls showing the two parties neck and neck, independents could heavily influence the midterms—and they're leaning right.

He notes generic ballot questions consistently overstate actual Democratic performance by an average of two points. So you'll see him just docking the Democrats two points in the following.

Looking at Hart and McInturff’s totals, the 2010 merged data—as would be expected, given the very strong Republican performance that Election Day—showed a GOP edge in the generic-ballot test of 45 percent to 43 percent (2 points, but treat it as 4 points to account for the Democratic tilt). In 2012, a good year for Democrats, the party led 47 percent to 42 percent, a 5-point advantage, but again, we’ll knock it down to 3 points for the purposes of this analysis. With these numbers for 2010 and 2012 in mind, how has the generic ballot looked for the past almost four months? The answer: Democrats hold a lead, 45 percent to 42 percent. Adjusted, this works out to a 1-point lead, essentially suggesting a draw at this point.

Something that might be of concern to Democrats, however, is that in this year’s data, independents are tilting Republican by 18 points, 43 percent to 25 percent. This is even more than the 14-point edge that the GOP had in the 2010 polling (40 percent to 26 percent) and dramatically different from the 1-point Democratic edge in 2012 (35 percent to 34 percent).

He notes that Independents don't vote very much in midterms, but that is offset by the fact that some core Democratic blocs (such as minorities) also skip the midterms.

He notes in a video report that Republicans simply have to get their favorables up in order to capitalize on the weakness of Democrats and their cult leader Obama. (My words, not his.)

Thanks to Charles, or, as I call him, Chrales, because typo.



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