Tide turning for Congressional GOP?

Donald Lambro points to some poll numbers from Gallup that look encouraging for GOP Congressional members up for re-election this fall:

WASHINGTON — Republicans have moved closer to the Democrats in a congressional voter-preference poll just as the election campaigns near the official Labor Day starting gate.

The surprising findings in a little-noticed Gallup Poll that were ignored by most of the national news media shows the Democrats barely leading the Republicans by just two points — 47 percent to 45 percent.

After months of generic polling numbers by Gallup and others showing the GOP lagged far behind the Democrats by a seemingly insurmountable 9 to 10 points, the titanic political battle for control of Congress is virtually dead even. This means we may not experience the feared Category 5 political storm some election analysts have forecast that would topple the GOP’s House majority and cut deeply into its grip on the Senate.

The venerable and respected Gallup organization, which did the poll for USA Today, said the GOP’s unexpected rise in the polls “represents the Republicans’ best performance in a single poll during the 2006 election cycle on this important measure of electoral strength.”

In an analysis accompanying its findings last week, Gallup said, “The Republican increase does appear to be significant.”

If the race is anywhere near as tight as Gallup said, it gives the GOP a much stronger edge in this year’s elections. The chief reason: Republicans tend to turn out in larger numbers in midterm elections. Moreover, the GOP’s high-tech, volunteer-driven, voter-turnout apparatus is far superior to anything the Democrats are attempting to patch together.

Who says so? Democrats themselves. “We’re not going to be able to match their turnout system,” a senior Democratic confessed to me earlier this month. Gallup also acknowledges that Republican voters “are likely to perform better at the polls in November than would be indicated by pre-election surveys based on registered voters.”

Read it all to find out possible reasons why there’s been a turn around in GOP Congressional polling numbers. The short version: people are once again looking to Republicans as the strong party on war on terror issues.

It’s anybody’s guess as to what will happen this fall, but if you want to have a little fun with the latest stats and figures related to Congressional and Governor races, go to Election Projection – 2006 Edition.

Speaking of Election Projection, the man who runs that site – Scott Elliott – will be a panelist (on a different panel than yours truly) at the Carolina FreedomNet 2006 blogger conference on October 7 in Greensboro, NC. Got your tickets yet?

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