In 2012, Democrats won the House national popular vote by 1.5 percent, but given the GOP's aggressive gerrymander, they need to win that national popular vote by 7-8 percent. (Crazy, huh?) That latest Quinnipiac poll has Democrats with a nine-point advantage, 43-34, and that was pre-shut down. A late July Q-poll had Dems up only four, 40-36. Given yesterday's post-shutdown polling, we could expect numbers to continue moving in the Democrats' direction.
PPP's batch of polling of 24 Republican-held seats found "generic Democrat" winning in 17 of them. The numbers become even more lopsided toward Democrats when respondents are told that their congresscritter voted to shut down the government. Sam Wang summarizes the startling findings:
If the election were held today, Democrats would pick up around 30 seats, giving them control of the chamber. I do not expect this to happen. Many things will happen in the coming 12 months, and the current crisis might be a distant memory. But at this point I do expect Democrats to pick up seats next year, an exception to the midterm rule.No one is predicting 50 seats. Not yet, anyway. The election is over a year away, and lots will happen in the meantime. And given it's a mid-term, we have to worry about turnout among base Democratic groups. But these numbers are already having an impact, as DCCC chief Steve Israel brags about his suddenly bountiful recruiting:
Note that in these calculations I did not even include the worst of the news for Republicans. In a followup series of questions, PPP then told respondents that their representative voted for the shutdown. At that point, the average swing moved a further 3.1% toward Democrats, and 22 out of 24 points were in the gray zone. That would be more like a 50-seat gain for Democrats – equivalent to a wave election.
Rep. Steve Israel, who is in charge of winning House races for Democrats, told Dem lawmakers at a closed door meeting today that GOP shutdown shenanigans were giving Dems a big recruiting boost, by prompting reluctant Dem candidates to express renewed interest in running in very tough GOP-held districts.Democrats are standing firm and reaping the benefits, with record fundraising, great recruitment, and a dramatic shift in public opinion in their direction. The best way to fuck that up? Capitulate. Not just on the continuing budget resolution and debt ceiling, but on critical entitlements like Social Security. If they stand firm and fight for people, people will fight for them. The numbers bear that out.
Israel, the chair of the DCCC, also said that if the 2012 House elections had been held today, with polls showing what they are now showing, Dems would have taken back the House, according to several sources present.