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[cross-posted at]

Special elections are on everyone’s mind this week as voters go to the polls for the Corwin-Davis-Hochul election in Western New York. But whatever happens in that race, a nationwide surge in Democratic performance is unmistakable.

The DLCC tracks every state legislative special election in the country. In the last three months, we’ve noticed a startling trend: Since March 1st, Democratic candidates have overperformed in almost every similar special election compared to the Democrats who ran in the same districts in 2010.

This is a truly stunning turnaround. The conventional wisdom says that all else being equal (though it never is), a lower-profile election will produce a more Republican electorate. Therefore, a presidential year like 2008 should see better Democratic performance than a midterm like 2010, which in turn should see better Democratic performance than an odd-year special election.

But ever since the radicalism of the GOP's assault on working families had a chance to sink in nationally, we’ve begun to see the opposite. Democratic special election candidates are now performing about 9.7% better than the Democratic candidates who ran in the exact same districts in 2010.

To get useful data, we obviously can’t include districts that produce an “apples-to-Volvos” sort of comparison. Therefore, we have to ignore districts where only one major party fielded candidates in 2010 or in the recent special (10 races); districts which were not up for election in 2010 (3 races); districts where a third party candidate won enough votes to skew the result in either year (2 races); and districts where one major-party candidate died before the election but remained on the ballot (1 race – and a long story).

That leaves 8 elections in 6 states since March 1st:

District: 2010 Dem % 2011 Dem % Change
California AD-4 36.65 44.62 D+7.97
Maine HD-11 26.08 40.75 D+14.67
Maine SD-7 48.37 67.87 D+19.50
Massachusetts HD-10 (Middlesex) 68.86 67.64 R+1.22
Minnesota SD-66 76.15 80.25 D+4.10
New Hampshire HD-4 (Hillsborough) 42.69 58.18 D+15.49
Wisconsin AD-83 21.28 25.83 D+4.55
Wisconsin AD-94 41.12 53.69 D+12.57
Average 45.15 54.85 D+9.70
As you can see, the character and location of these districts were all over the map. Two were overwhelmingly Democratic in 2010; three were overwhelmingly Republican; and three were swing seats. The West, Midwest, and Northeast are all represented. Democrats improved their performance in every district except the Massachusetts seat, which held mostly steady.

And most importantly for prognosticators, Democrats actually won all three of the swing districts. There is also a rough, directly proportional relationship between the competitiveness of the district and the magnitude of the Democratic gain. The change in Democratic performance in swing districts (D+12% to D+19%) was far higher than it was for either party's safe seats (R+1% to D+8%). If this trend continues through the election cycle, Democrats are on pace for a dramatic turnaround.

As the Tea Party and GOP leaders continue to pursue extreme right-wing legislative agendas, any Republican state legislator who values his or her job needs to stop pandering and start pondering: If my Democratic opponent wins an extra 10-15% of the vote in the next election, will I still have a job?

Likewise, Republicans have a similar question to ask if they represent safe districts but enjoy life in the majority: how many of my GOP colleagues will lose their seats if this trend holds?

There are no more special elections scheduled that would apply to this analysis between now and the Wisconsin recalls, likely to be held July 12th. Those races will tell us a lot more about how the electorate is responding to GOP radicalism.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Encouraging. (7+ / 0-)

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:41:58 AM PDT

  •  Interesting diary, thanks. (11+ / 0-)

    The Republicans have enjoyed such a run these past 30 years by keeping their true goals and intent vague. This way, they win over low-information voters, because they're seen as likeable and whatever. Perhaps the arrogance and over-reach we've seen these past few months has been the logical conclusion of their ongoing success--and it may just doom them.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:42:28 AM PDT

    •  If Our Main Response Is to Allow Voters to See (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, jayden

      Repubs doing their thing, it won't doom them. They may take their lumps from time to time but they'll always retain the strength even from the minority to get steady cuts in the entire social safety and high-finance safety nets.

      --Unless they're opposed by a progressive party that delivers progressive policy. We're-not-them isn't a sustainable message, as we saw in the greatest election defeat in living memory last fall.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where does MA's 6th Worcester House District fall? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, TofG, propjoe

    In 2010 the incumbent Dem tied with the GOP challenger. A rematch was scheduled and the election was held two weeks ago, where the incumbent Dem fell short by 50+ votes. :(

    •  Probably the outlier (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Marcus Graly, TofG

      There may have been specifics unique to that race that might not have carried over the other contests. Or it could be that the GOP candidate just ran a better campaign.

    •  shhh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twohundertseventy, FiscalAffair

      Data not consistent with the story trying to be manufactured is not welcome.

      •  The DLCC, of course (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rja, TofG, drobertson, ArkDem14, Bharat

        Is a press shop, and it's expected that they'll put out a certain line. But saying they are "manufacturing" a story seems like a very stark accusation. I don't know why they left off the MA-HD6 race, but they did include HD10, where Dem performance slipped slightly.

        Do you think that Democratic performance in these recent special elections does not mean what the DLCC thinks it might mean? If so, why?

        Political Director, Daily Kos

        by David Nir on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:59:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your attitude of late has been tiresome (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sulthernao, drobertson

        and borders on trolling.

        In the 2010 election there were 3 votes cast for neither the Republican nor the Democrat. Since it was a tie, that was technically enough to affect the results of the election, so it is excluded under the following criterion:

        districts where a third party candidate won enough votes to skew the result in either year (2 races)

        And even if it were included, do you really think that one little blip would drastically alter the big picture that is being painted here?

        21, male, RI-01 (voting)/IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

        by sapelcovits on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:51:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously? They're looking at (0+ / 0-)

          delta in percentage. No, three votes cast for neither the Republican nor the Democrat are completely irrelevant.

          It maybe doesn't change the big picture, but if you're going to do a statistical analysis, leaving out the outlier that doesn't suit your hypothesis is intellectually dishonest.

          •  Well, it is a technicality (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drobertson, ArkDem14

            but in 2010 those votes would have made a difference, so it falls under the criteria for exclusion. You can disagree with the exclusion of elections affected by third parties, but you can't argue that they deliberately omitted an unfavorable result or followed inconsistent standards.

            21, male, RI-01 (voting)/IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

            by sapelcovits on Mon May 23, 2011 at 04:37:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, yes, I can. It's bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

              Affected by third parties in an analysis that looks at percentages and not as binary results (won/lost) means that you exclude parties who get a significant percentage of support because that's the measure you're looking at, not parties who had the potential to influence the binary result, because if you're looking at the change from 2010, it doesn't matter whether 2010 had a result of 50.01 or 49.99%.

              If those are supposed to be consistent standards, they're standards picked only for the reason that they result in awfully convenient results.

    •  Is Massachusetts trending Republican? (0+ / 0-)

      "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau -6.38, -4.15

      by James Allen on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:30:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        It's stagnant at the moment and has been for about 5-8 years.

        We have had a stagnant population size, which is to say a somewhat aging resident population and lots of young people outmigrating.  

        There's been real little turnover in the state Democratic Party since roughly 2004 when Tom Finneran and his buddy conservaDems left and got replaced by what is probably an excess of newer Democrats in the state legislature.  People are simply getting tired of all the same, slowly aging, Democratic faces, though the stability and pretty good representation are appreciated.

        There's definitely a lack of initiative, of fresh ideas, of the intelligent and courageous leadership that Democrats from Massachusetts have had something of a tradition of both inside  New England and inside the Beltway.  The current crew seems to have abandoned the Yankee shrewd, subtle, and pragmatic hard pursuit of Big Things/real solutions that was their ethic and succumb to the institutionalism and parochialism of  the Obama era Democratic Party.  

      •  Central Mass has been nasty to us lately. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        The western part of the state has become deep blue, though.

        21, male, RI-01 (voting)/IL-01 (college), hopeless Swingnut

        by sapelcovits on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:53:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Southbridge elections commission screwed Alicea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They ruled a ballot that clearly should have been counted as a vote for him as "spoiled", which is completely nonsensical under Massachusetts election law.  Because of this, he had to go to court to get the election declared tied.  This had the effect of tarring him with the "sore loser" label, even though his suit was completely justified and if the commission knew the first thing about how to run an election would not have been necessary.

    •  Independent candidate in the 2011 special (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drobertson, dnyedwab

      The 2010 race was a head to head match up, but the special election featured an Independent who won about 16%.

      There's really no good way to tell if those votes came disproportionately from one party or the other.

  •  As long as the GOP propaganda machine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, TofG

    is not successful in convincing voters that Paul Ryan was under an evil spell cast by Nancy Pelosi and all the Republican House members were tricked into voting for her plan.

    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

    by ahumbleopinion on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:58:08 AM PDT

  •  Totally agree (0+ / 0-)

    Just as Democratic wins in special elections in NY-23 and PA-12 were a foreshadow to the massive Democratic gains in the House in 2010.  Oh wait, nevermind.

    •  That sounds like a strawman to me (9+ / 0-)

      I don't think the DLCC or anyone else said that these special election wins portend "massive Democratic gains."

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Mon May 23, 2011 at 10:00:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd say that local (0+ / 0-)

      special elections that occurred in 2010 gave a pretty good idea of the emerging enthusiasm gap. Of course the media playing the "Democrats are doomed" memo, which even Democrats started buying into, probably didn't encourage a lot of Dems to go out to the polls. After all, why vote when all you've been hearing for ten months is how the Democrats are going to get shellshacked.

      2010 was almost as much a self-fulfilling prophesy as it was anything.

      Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

      by ArkDem14 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:07:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  as you said, things are never equal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For instance, the Minnesota race where there was actually a r+1 shift, it is hard to equate the two. In 2010, the incumbent was tony sertich, the house majority leader and speaker-presumptive. Had the dfl held onto the house (most people assumed this would happen), it would be speaker sertich right now. After his resignation to head the irrrb, and very young nobody ran and won the dfl nomination, and the general election as a formality (republicans don't exist in this part of the world) . So 25 year old recent college graduate living in her parents basement vs the speaker-presumptive. Not exactly even.

  •  TRADE Policy, NOT Medicare, Turns the NY 26th Blue (0+ / 0-)

    Its almost laughable to hear the Washington punditry talk about how this race to replace "Shirtless Chris Lee" is trending Democrat because of the Repugs Medicare plan.

    Can anybody read a poll???

    At the end of April, the Siena poll showed Democrat Hochul down four points to Republican Corwin, 42% to 38%.  The surprise was that self-styled "Tea Party" candidate Jack Davis had 27% of the vote, mostly from the Republicans.

    Davis' whole campaign was to oppose NAFTA, CAFTA, and the proposed Korean Free Trade Agreement. He was drawing nearly 30% of the an INDEPENDENT in a THREE-WAY RACE!!!!

    The very same weekend that the poll was released, Hochul found her inner "anti-trade" voice.  She stated (for the first time) that she opposed NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO and the KOFTA.  She advanced her opposition even more in the debate (it was the second item of her post-debate talking points.)


    REPUBLICANS and INDEPENDENTS opposed to America's trade policy found a candidate that can actually WIN and they shifted from a third-party also ran to Hochul, an anti-trade Democrat who was more likely to win.

    Davis lost ground; Hochul gained supporters -- bigtime.  She now LEADS. Corwin stayed stagnant.  

    Medicare had nothing to do with it.  (In fact, in the most recent poll, only 20% of voters gave Medicare as their principal concern.  More were concerned with jobs.)  Regrettably, there was no poll question relating to trade, but the voter shift speaks for itself.

    Do the math or just read the polls.   And ignore the pundits in the Washington echo chamber.   There's a groundswell building to reform America's Free Trade policy.

    •  Well (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drobertson, James L, ArkDem14, propjoe, Bharat

      This happens to be incorrect:

      Medicare had nothing to do with it.  (In fact, in the most recent poll, only 20% of voters gave Medicare as their principal concern.  More were concerned with jobs.)

      Not only did Medicare out-rank jobs (21% to 20%) (see PDF), it was also the highest-ranked issue. You can dismiss it by saying "only" 21% rated it their top issue, but considering that nationally, only 5% of voters rate it as their top issue, that's a damn big increase. And getting a fifth of the electorate to agree on anything is quite something.

      Anyhow, I think next time, a little less bold and caps would make your text easier to read. Thanks.

      Political Director, Daily Kos

      by David Nir on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:36:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enjoy that Kool-Aide, David (0+ / 0-)

        I know that's the storyline the DCCC is pushing (mostly as a warning shot to Republicans who might still support the Ryan plan), but your assertionis demonstrably untrue.

        If you polled it in this district, you would see it.

        Again, look at the Siena poll.  In a poll with a MOE of 3.9%, there was NO discernible difference between people concerned with Medicare and those concerned with jobs--none. After all those WEEKS of hard-core advertising, mailings, and robo-calls ALL OF WHICH plaid up the Medicare message, Medicare was important only to one in five voters. The same nubmer were concerned, roughly,  with jobs, taxes, and the national debt (or, said another way, more were concerned with the economy generally than with Medicare.)  Moreover,  Medicare played far more importantly with Democrats than with "swing" Independent voters or Republicans in this heavily Republican district.

        If the shift in voters from Davis to Hochul was NOT about trade, what would you pretend was the cause?  There was no other shift in positions.

        •  I'm not going to respond further (7+ / 0-)

          If you're going to yell at me in bold and all caps. Sorry.

          Political Director, Daily Kos

          by David Nir on Mon May 23, 2011 at 01:22:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow! Sensitive. (1+ / 2-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:
            drobertson, ArkDem14

            The BOLD and CAPS are meant for emphasis, not for "yelling".  I rarely read entire blog reply texts; the bold is intended to make important points stand out, nothing else.

            When I speak, I use intonation and emphasis; same here.

            Respond if you like, but I suggest you never enlist in armed forces if you're that sensitive to tone.  

            •  They're not showing emphasis (0+ / 0-)

              They're just making you look rude.  It's the internet equivalent of shouting and screaming.  Sometimes it's best to listen.

            •  We are not children here (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DCal, Bharat

              Act like an adult. Read what other people write thoroughly if you intend to respond to them, and respond with some semblance of coherence and respect. There are limits even on Dkos to decorum, (nowhere near where I think they should be, but there nonetheless).

              Furthermore, this isn't the place to discuss free trade policy, particularly not in a loud and obnoxious manner. This particular Dkos group is concerned with following the political races, not the the policies.

              Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Reality becomes illusion where the unreal's real. -Cao Xueqin

              by ArkDem14 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:12:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I don't get why this is HRd. (0+ / 0-)

              I get it, we're on DKE, but still, HR's aren't just a "dislike" rating but can actually get someone banned from the whole site. This comment was inappropriate in tone, but not HR-worthy.

              •  Me Thinks.... (0+ / 0-)

                ....peoplle may be upset that my analysis differs from the party line put out by the DCCC.  And since the DCCC cannot really address trade policy any differently than Republicans, and can't really refute the assertions, they are are attacking the message and the messenger.

                Again, my bold and CAPS were meant for emphasis, not shouting.  But as someone raised among Blue Collar middle Americans my emphasis may have been misinterpreted by someone who hasn't spent much time West of the Hudson. Someone reared in an environment of calm, sedating, monotones might not understand that.

                •  It doesn't help your case (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  drobertson, Bharat, MichaelNY

                  To insult people's backgrounds and environments in quasi-David-Brooks language.  DKE has its own atmosphere and personality, and part of David's responsibility as an editor is to maintain that--and, frankly, part of our responsibility is to respect that.  

                  25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                  by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:37:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  BTW, what is "HRd"? (0+ / 0-)

                I've been here for a while but I'm not a "regular".  Please advise/explain. Thanks.

              •  As Said Above, "Data Inconsistent With the Story.. (0+ / 0-)

                "Data not consistent with the story trying to be manufactured is not welcome."

                DCCC wants very much for any Hochul win to be portrayed as a "defeat of the Ryan Medicare Plan".

                The fact that the race is actually being decided on Trade Policy is terribly inconsistent with that; therefore, attack the message and the messenger, particular his ignorant "misuse" of the caps lock key which some people view as rude.  (Is that some kind of Kos protocol?  Because I see highlights in comments all over the place elsewhere on the internet.  I use them (and I appreciate their use) in lengthy comments or in original posts.   Reading every word is a waste of time.)

            •  "I rarely read entire blog reply texts." (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That mght explain your problem here at making your case. It helps to read entire replies when coming up with a coherent response to an argument.

        •  Three-way races very typically contract (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Into two-way races, afaik, because of strategic voting--no one wants to waste their vote, so everyone's wary of a candidate starting to collapse, and then there's a cascade effect. Sometimes that means you end up with, basically, Indie vs. Major Party (like in the Maine and Rhode Island governor's elections last year) and sometimes that means there's a third party candidate who polls decently or attracts some attention but ends up getting rather fewer votes than the polls and press might predict (like the New Jersey gubernatorial election in 2009, or the last British general election.)  And, of course, third party candidates are those who are mostly likely to be thought of as a "wasted" vote, and they have less of a solid base to work with in general, so they are particularly vulnerable to collapsing in this self-fulfilling-prophecy way.

          So, while the proximate cause might have been trade policy or pretty much anything, Davis' collapse was structurally a very likely outcome, and most of the writing about the race from the start, at least around here, has reflected that, again afaik.

          However, correlation does not imply causation, and to demonstrate that Hochul's purported shift on trade policy caused the change in poll numbers, you need more than to show that they were chronologically close--you would need evidence that people in the district who are being polled a) heard about her purported shift and b) cared and then c) changed their votes.  Otherwise, it could be nearly anything--positions taken in debates aren't the only source of polling changes, and I'm not sure they've historically ever been much of a source of significant and lasting polling changes.

          25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

          by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 03:03:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Polling Should Have Been Done (0+ / 0-)

            But was not; trade policy is very rarely ever polled because the two major parties are in lockstep on it.  There is no difference in the two parties positions; therefore, there is no need to poll it.  (The 26th is, in fact, one of the rare instances where trade policy has ever been debated in the political realm.)

            Kathy Hochul made her "born again" opposition to American trade policy well-known immediately after she saw Davis' poll numbers.  It was her second talking point in her post-debate spin press release.  It was an issue with the both The Batavian and was the principal issue upon which  Davis was enorsed by the Niagara Gazetteand the Lockport Union Sun and Journal.

            In their words:

            "It’s hard not to identify with Davis’ goals of wanting to create jobs in the United States through the abolition of free trade agreements like NAFTA, which he says is the primary reason jobs are leaving and factories are closing.

             True, [Trade] is Davis’ sole issue. But the issue itself is intrinsic in fixing so many of the other things that haunt us these days, including health care, Social Security and national security.

             If people have jobs, they’re more like to be able to afford health care. If people have jobs, they’re paying into Social Security.

            Remember, too, that these are Republicans going over to a Democrat (and a liberal Democrat to boot!) and that Hochul had been pounding the "Medicare" drum before the race shifted.

            Perhaps someday some pollster (or exit pollster?) will measure the effects of the Trade issue on this race.  For now, though, there is simply too close a correlation between her newfound opposition to NAFTA, CAFTA and KOFTA and her dramatic gain in the polls, a gain that can be directly traced to a candidate whose sole issue was trade policy and at whose expense she is winning her majority.

            •  It's possible (0+ / 0-)

              But another possibility is simpler (and I tend to lean towards simple explanations, since I don't really assume voters know details about candidates' positions and when they change): Davis had run several times for this seat as a Democrat, so low-information partisans might have just assumed that he was the Democratic candidate (or a Democratic candidate) once again, and as the race progressed, and more learned he was running as a Republican, and they switched from him to Hochul.  Davis still retains some of his right-wing support, so he splits the right wing vote.   Several people on this site have speculated that Davis had an amount of "soft" conservative Democratic support on pure name recognition.

              The Democrats+Working Families got 45% in 2008.  Jack Davis got 44% in 2004 and 45% in 2006 as a Democrat/Working Families Party.  Hochul's lead is 42%, according to PPP.  You don't need anything unusual to get a Democrat to the mid-40s in this district.  (Granted the Democratic candidate got crushed by 3-1 in 2010, but, well, 2010 was unusual--presidentially, the district has an R+6 PVI, so the expected result in an even year is 53 R, 47 D.)

              But, really, I'm not going to affirmatively believe it's anything like you describe without a poll that both shows a large chunk of Davis voters know Hochul changed her position and say they changed their votes accordingly.

              25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

              by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:59:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Polling Says Otherwise (0+ / 0-)

                Most of the support Davis was drawing was from Republicans.  (He is a registered Republican and was a GOP through 2004, I believe.  His diversion to the Democrats was just something he did to challenge the Republican incumbent whose trade policy Davis says he desprises.)

                So, upon learning Davis was not a major party nominee, those Republican voters would have moved to the Republican, Corwin, whose trade policy is mainstream Republican. But they didn't; they went to "born again" protectionist Hochul.  QED.

                You  should give more respect to the voters. I'm not familiar with what you call "Low information partisans."   In my experience, most partisans are exceptionally well informed.

                •  Perhaps I should give more respect to the voters (0+ / 0-)

                  Perhaps not, but either way, you're probably not going to convince me that voters picked up on this until there's direct evidence of that.  I don't think that we're going to get anywhere discussing that much.

                  Anyway, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Jack Davis as a Democrat, Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers on a Dem/Working Families anti-fusion anti-ticket, and Al Gore all won a mid-40s percent of the vote in this district--the same vote that Hochul is polling now.  That says "baseline partisan scenario" to me, not "Republicans switching to the Democrats in unusual numbers because of unusual ideological positioning."  We'll really have to wait and see--if Hochul wins with a significantly higher percentage than that, that'll suggest something else.
                  (Pres. numbers by CD:

                  Back when Corwin was trailing:

                  "At the same time, [Davis]'s also hurting Hochul. Looking at the cross-tabs (PDF), Davis gets 24% of the Republican vote, 20% of the Democratic vote, and 27% of the independent vote. Rare to see a candidate with such cross-spectrum appeal!"

                  So it's not true that "most" of the support Davis was drawing was from Republicans--maybe a plurality was, but a pretty narrow one.

                  Now, Davis is getting 8% of Democrats, 16% of Republicans, 17% of independents:

                  He lost 12% of Democrats, 8% of Republicans, and 10% of independents.  (This is assuming you can compare crosstabs at all).  So a significant part of his drop is among Democrats.  Hochul had 62% of Ds in Sienna, 10% of Rs, and 26% of indies--now, in PPP, she has 74% of Ds, 16% of Rs, and 36% of indies.  I'm not sure what that all adds up to, given all the margins of error, but it is def. the case that part of what's going on is Davis losing a significant chunk of Democrats (even if people of all parties may have switched over to Hochul proportionately.)  

                  Corwin did, however, gain 5% of Republicans in between the two surveys (again, assuming you can compare them) so many of the Republicans who abandoned Davis might well have gone to Corwin.  Or maybe they went straight from Davis to Hochul and Corwin picked up 5% of the undecided Republicans.  Or maybe this is all statistical float with small sample sizes!  Point is, I at least am not comfortable deciding on any analysis of this based on this information.  You are comfortable with that, which is fine, but I doubt we'll convince each other (and this never really was the thread for it anyway.)

                  25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                  by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:21:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, I should have (0+ / 0-)

                    Added the PPP poll in the middle, the first with Hochiul leading:

                    Main changes there vs. the Sienna poll are in the independent vote--which actually, I should have added, is kind of a misnomer, since there are R-partisan indies, D-partisan indies, and a very few actually independent indies.  So again--I'm not really sure what's going on.

                    25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                    by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:30:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And also (0+ / 0-)

                      Sienna's more-recent poll:

                      Hochul: 76% of Ds, 12% of Rs, 44% of indies.
                      Davis: 10% of Ds, 13% of Rs, 16% of indies.
                      Corwin: 8/66/36

                      So Hochul gained 14% of Ds, and Davis lost 10% of Ds.  Hochul gained 2% of Rs, Corwin gained 10% of Rs, and Davis lost 11% of Rs.  Also, Hochul gained 18% of indies, and Davis lost 11% of them.  Still, assuming the first two sentences are true, that much is consistent with a "partisan information/third party collapse" scenario--where Davis loses 10% of Ds and 11% of Rs, and they mostly go to the main-party candidates.  I could also read some of this to support a more ideological case, but again, my point is that I don't think we have enough information to decide.

                      25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                      by Xenocrypt on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:43:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  No, Jack Davis as a Democrat (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Xenocrypt, Bharat

                    in 2006 significantly overperformed the others. He got, if I'm correct, 48% against an incumbent Republican who was scandal-free, while Obama got 46% in an open-seat race in a better environment. Kryzan got something in the lower 40s, as did Kerry and Gore, Gore not running against an incumbent either.

                    And let's not forget that the Democrat running before Davis in 2002 got stuck in the lower 20s-- and 2002 was not such a bad climate relative to 2004.

                    I do buy that Davis has special appeal in this district, and I do think it's related to free trade and his consistent jobs, jobs, jobs message.

                    •  In 2008 (0+ / 0-)

                      Kryzan got 40 or something but Jon Powers got 5 on the Working Families line.  However, it was an open seat then.  But in 2006, the seat was held by Tom Reynolds who was in fact somewhat caught up in the Foley scandal.  I don't doubt your last sentence though, I just don't think it's as cut -and-dried.

                      25, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-12(now)

                      by Xenocrypt on Tue May 24, 2011 at 04:07:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Buyer's remorse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In New Hampshire and Maine where Republicans are really crazy Dems look way better. Over all, Dems look a little bit better. If the Repubs continue to go right (off the edge), we'll do well.

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