Monday, November 06, 2006

Politics: USA: Major eve-of-election poll says Americans favor Democrats on the issues

CNN reports the results of an Opinion Research poll on the eve before the USA national elections tomorrow.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans said issues such as the Iraq war, the economy and terrorism would head in the right direction if the Democrats won control of Congress on Tuesday, according to a CNN poll released Monday.

A majority, 58 percent, said that a Democratic Congress would move the economy in the right direction, compared to 43 percent who said a Republican Congress would help the economy, according to the telephone poll of 1,008 adult Americans, which was carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said a Democratic Congress would move the Iraq war in the right direction, compared to 34 percent who said a Republican Congress would do the same. (Poll results -- PDF)

Fifty-five percent said a Democratic Congress would move the country in the right direction on the issue of terrorism, compared to 47 percent who said that a GOP Congress would do the right thing on terrorism.

On the question of taxes, Democrats bested Republicans 49 percent to 37 percent when those surveyed were asked who would do a better job.

But those polled felt less strongly about the general state of the country if Democrats took control of Congress. Thirty-nine percent of those polled said the country would be better off if the Democrats took control. Thirty-seven percent said that the country would remain the same regardless of which party won control, 20 percent said the country would be better off with a Republican Congress, and 3 percent had no opinion.

The margin of error for those questions was plus or minus 3 percent.
North America > USA > Elections
Discontent over the handling of Iraq appears widespread: Sixty-one percent disapprove of the war, whereas 33 percent favor the war. Fifty-six percent said the war has not made the country safer from terrorism.

Sixty percent also said the Iraq war would head in the wrong direction if the Republicans retain control of Congress.

The poll respondents are nearly evenly divided in their opinion of the nation's economic conditions, with 8 percent describing them as "very good," 41 percent as "good," 32 percent as "poor" and 18 percent as "very poor."

The ability to handle the threat of terrorism -- long considered a key Republican strength -- may not prove so helpful this election. Sixty percent of poll respondents said they aren't worried that they or members of their family will become victims of terrorism.

Four years ago, in a similar poll, 28 percent said the country would be better off under a GOP-controlled Congress, 22 percent thought that way about the Democrats and 47 percent said it would make no difference.

If the Democrats were to win power, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California would become speaker of the house. Asked their opinion of her, 35 percent said it was favorable, 24 percent said it was unfavorable and 42 percent said they were unsure.

Pelosi had higher approval than Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, who has served as speaker since 1999. Twenty-two percent said they had a favorable opinion of him, 32 percent had unfavorable views and 46 percent said they were unsure.
Nancy Peolosi (D, Calif) would become Speaker of the House of Representatives should the Democrats win in that chamber of the Congress. She has promised not to use the House's time and resources investigating and attempting to impeach President George W. Bush (which would only elevate Richard Cheney to the Presidency, who if also removed would give way to ... the Speaker of the House herself, according to the impeachment scenario). refWrite, having never fully endorsed Bush, but having favoured him generally on certain key policies, would make as rapid a readjustment as possible should the Democrats gain Congressional power.

However, to the assessment offered by CNN around the OpinionResearch eleventh-hour poll, Robert Novack makes some astute observations on the slim Repuboican possiblities:
But what about the unlikely event that Republicans succeed in keeping both the House and the Senate? Republican pundits deceive when they lower the bar, writing now of a Democratic sweep of the House as something that had always been inevitable. In fact, no one but the biggest Democratic dreamer could have expected a 15-seat gain in the House in 2006 after the historic 2004 election solidified GOP power around the country at the federal and, in most places, the state level. The thought that Democrats might actually take the Senate was not even in the minds of the most partisan Democratic dreamers.

But the reality of expectations has now changed. Republicans would be euphoric to cling to a one-seat advantage in the House and a 50-50 Senate. In fact, it would probably be demonstrative proof that, in the long haul, their grip on the nation is bulletproof. If you can't lose an election after all that has happened in the last two years, it may not be possible to lose.

If Republicans win, it will be for one reason: a superior turnout operation. The electorate will answer several questions tomorrow, but the most interesting one for Republicans is whether the Karl Rove-Ken Mehlman voter-turnout program is really all that powerful? Can it bring to the polls significant numbers of voters who in the past would have skipped the midterm, voting only in presidential contests? Can it be the Republicans' deus ex machina in the final act of the 2006 election, pulling the closest races out of the fire, and perhaps even providing some late surprises?
See Novack's click-up link below.

-- Politicarp

More Info:

Final Predictions by Larry J. Sabato and David Wasserman, U.Va. Center for Politics

Dems set to gain 19 House seats, elect 2 new Senators [Robert Novack]

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