Wednesday, January 6, 2010

When does the bad news start?

To top off last night's news about three major Dems throwing in the towel, now we have this update from renowned political analyst Stuart Rothenberg:
During our quarterly overview of all of the House races across the country, we moved 21 House seats toward the Republicans. On top of that, Republicans gained Alabama's 5th District when Cong. Parker Griffith switched to the GOP before Christmas. His seat moved from Lean Democratic to Currently Safe for the GOP.

We moved only one seat toward the Democrats (New York's 23rd). Despite recent GOP retirements in California's 19th District (George Radanovich) and South Carolina's 1st District (Henry Brown), the two seats don't make our list at this point.
It should be noted that while Kilroy and Driehaus remain in the toss-up category, Tiberi is now listed as "Republican favored". That should help the Paula Brooks' race for the 15th congressional district.

But that's not all.

Republican candidates start the year by opening a nine-point lead over Democrats, the GOP's biggest in several years, in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 35% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

A 9 point lead.

The question now becomes, when this margin starts to shrink, and it will naturally shrink as we get closer to the election, how much of an effect will the poll movement have on the horserace as a whole? Will the media portray it as Republicans losing the momentum they once enjoyed? Will they recognize just how outside the ordinary this kind of margin has been?

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