Public Cheers Democratic Victory
The Democrats’ big win on Nov. 7 has gotten a highly favorable response from the public. In fact, initial reactions to the Democratic victory are as positive as they were to the GOP’s electoral sweep of Congress a dozen years ago.
Democrats Made Gains in All Regions of the Country
With roughly 95% of the votes tallied so far in House races across the country, the overall partisan breakdown is 52% for Democratic candidates, 46% for Republican candidates and 2% for others. In actual votes, Democratic House candidates in 2006 have already tallied nearly 5 million more votes than they did in 2002, while the Republican tally is down more than 3 million from four years ago.
The Real Message of the Midterms
A sweeping election tends to invite sweeping conclusions — and the Democrats’ takeover of both houses of Congress this November provides a tempting array of opportunities for exaggeration or misinterpretation. With that in mind, let’s look at the major lessons to be gleaned from the exit polls and opinion polls about how America voted this November.
Democrats and Republicans See Different Realities
The vast divide between voters who intend to vote Democratic and Republican on November 7 extends well beyond matters of opinion. These voters also see the world quite differently.
Republicans Cut Democratic Lead in Campaign’s Final Days
A nationwide Pew survey finds that the midterm election campaign has tightened considerably in the campaign’s final week. Among likely voters, 47% say they plan to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate on Tuesday and 43% say they plan to vote for a Republican.
Voter Turnout and Congressional Change
In recent decades, there have been three basic ways that turnout has worked to produce the sort of “big wave” midterm that the Democrats are hoping for next week.
Can Safe Seats Save the Republicans?
One of the biggest political questions in the final weeks of this Congressional campaign is whether the national trend in support for Democratic candidates is big enough to overcome the safe-seat redistricting that in recent years has led to fewer and fewer seats turning over in Congress.
Evangelicals and the GOP: An Update
White evangelical Protestants have become the most important part of the Republican Party’s electoral base, making up nearly one-in-four of those who identify with the GOP and vote for its candidates. This analysis examines the current state of evangelical support for the GOP, in light of the approaching 2006 elections.
Growing Number of Liberal Democrats
About one-third of Democratic voters now describe themselves as liberal, an increase since 2000, when just one-in-four Democrats self-identified with the “L-word.” Meantime, some 41% of Democrats now call themselves moderate and 23% say they are conservatives.
November Turnout May Be High
Unlike the past three mid-term election campaigns, Democrats are more enthusiastic than Republicans about voting this year.