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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kevin Drum vs Matthew Yglesias on the meaning of 14%


REPUBLICANS IN TROUBLE?.... Democrats are ahead by 14 percentage points in Gallup's latest generic congressional poll. That's good. It's always better to be ahead than behind.

But the number itself is misleading. As near as I can tell, Democrats routinely poll about ten points better than Republicans in these polls early in the year, so their real lead right now is probably more like three or four points. If this holds up through the summer, it means that Dems are likely to hold onto their current majority and maybe even pick up a few seats.


I'm reading some sentiment that maybe the Democrat's large lead in generic congressional balloting doesn't matter, because Democrats always lead in generic balloting. Here's Gallup's table of historical context for the numbers:

Long story short, the fourteen point lead is a big lead by historical standards.

I agree with Yglesias and appeal to

The only year in which the Democrats had such a lead was 2006 followed by a landslide. Also the lead didn't shrink much during 2006 as far as I can see at a glance.

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