Friday, October 20, 2006

The undertow has arrived

Ok, enough speculation. Let's talk numbers, raw data. You still think a huge Dem sweep is coming? Read on, my friends, you won't be sorry...T

My new column is here, and my new World Magazine column is here.

Both relay the results of my reporting from four battleground states --Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Ohio-- over the past five days. There isn't credible evidence of a significant depressed turnout among Republicans generally or evangelicals specifically. Lots of quotes from lots of self-annointed experts on turnout, and lots of secret sauce in the polling models, but no evidence of actual base voters deciding to stay home. Much contrary evidence in terms of metrics achieved and sampling of crowds and candidates.

Though the polls are all over the place, I note the latest on Tom Reynolds' race in New York's 26th CD. SurveyUSA now has Reynolds up three.

And Rasmussen puts Burns within 3 of Tester.

Three weekends of GOTV and 18 days of campaigning left, and the Dem surge is fading fast. Talk is cheap. GOTV is expensive. The Dems have the former, the Republicans the latter.

UPDATE: Doug Ross has the ilustrated guide to a Pelosi Speakership.

UPDATE: A Memo from Mehlman on the subject:

In recent days and weeks, the mainstream media have repeatedly claimed that the Republican base is suffering from "low voter enthusiasm." It is easy to believe a story that is repeated so frequently, but in fact there is ample evidence to the contrary. By many measures, there are strong indications of a right-of-center base that is engaged and committed.

First, numerous polls clearly indicate near parity in intensity between Democrats and Republicans. Three recent national surveys-Gallup, Cook/RT Strategies, and our most recent RNC survey conducted by Voter/Consumer Research-all show partisan interest is approximately equal. The details of those polls are below:

Voter/Consumer Research (Oct. 8-10)

The RNC's internal research shows election interest at 7.7 on a 10-point scale among Republicans and 7.6 among Democrats, unchanged from late September and in line with this year's overall trend.

Gallup (Oct. 6-8)

To quote from Gallup's voter turnout projection, "Gallup's latest analysis suggests Republicans and Democrats are now roughly even in terms of anticipated turnout in the midterm congressional elections. The voting intentions of the large pool of registered voters is now similar to the voting intentions of the smaller pool of likely voters, showing no disproportionate impact of turnout in either direction"

Gallup asked, "How motivated do you feel to get out and vote this year -- extremely motivated, very motivated, somewhat motivated, not too motivated or not at all motivated?(% "extremely" or "very" motivated)" The following table shows that the GOP in fact now holds a slight lead, up from just a few months ago:

....................................GOP DEM NET
Sept 15-17, 2006 .......... 70% 67% +3
Jun 23-25, 2006........... 74% 77% -3
Oct 3-6, 2002............... 65% 55% +10
Oct 29-Nov 1, 1998....... 59% 57% +2
Oct 23-25, 1998............ 67% 56% +11
Oct 9-12, 1998.............. 59% 53% +6
Sep 23-24, 1998........... 73% 62% +11

Cook/RT Strategies (Oct. 5-8)

On a scale of one to 10, Republicans and Democrats have almost equally high mean election interest scores (8.2 for Republicans, 8.1 for Democrats), but Democrats hold a slight edge in the percentage of their voters who are "highly interested"-47 to 51 percent.

However, keeping in mind the local nature of midterm elections, it is more important to consider intensity by state or congressional district. RT Strategies/Constituent Dynamics (conducted Oct. 8-10) released district-by-district polling showing Republicans have a slight edge in partisan intensity. GOP "voter motivation" is higher than Democratic motivation in 19 of 32 competitive House races, in some cases by as much as a full point on a 1 to 9 scale. Democratic intensity is higher in the remaining 13, and in none of those races is the difference higher than 2/3 of a point.

Additional Data

A recent Pew study (9/21-10/4) found that while roughly similar numbers of Republicans (41%) and Democrats (39%) are "regular" voters, more Republicans (25%) than Democrats (20%) vote intermittently--meaning there are more of our voters for us to turn out in a midterm election. Furthermore, Democrats (20%) are substantially more likely than Republicans (14%) to not be registered to vote at all.

Other Measures of Intensity

There are ways besides polls to measure the intensity of the Republican base, and those also indicate that GOP voters are strongly engaged. Fundraising, for example, is often called the "first ballot" for the simple reason that supporters only donate when they are involved and enthusiastic. That is why we are excited that the RNC received support from 362,000 new donors this cycle. We've averaged 8,256 contributions for each deposit day so far this year. We just announced that September has been our best financial month of the entire cycle. Our supporters know how important this election is, and their financial support shows it.

Volunteer enthusiasm is another key measure of intensity. Again, every indication here is that our base is working hard for victory in the 2006 election. Republican volunteers have contacted more than 14 million voters this year, and more than 7 million since Labor Day alone. We have made 1 million voter contacts every week for the past five weeks, and for six weeks we have surpassed the number of contacts we made at comparable times in 2004, a presidential election year.

The Bottom Line

Despite the media hype, an examination of all the facts makes it clear: the Republican base is active and engaged. No matter how you measure it--whether by record-breaking fundraising, unprecedented volunteerism, or scientific polling--the numbers show that Republicans understand the importance of the choice we all face on November 7.
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1 Comment:

splugy said...

This is always the case. The D's use every propaganda tool at their disposal to show how they are going to win. I keep hoping for a good GOP October surprise.