Friday, April 9, 2010

How Bad is the Democrats' Electoral Predicament?

I know that Democrats are in bad electoral shape, but can their position really be as precarious as Nate Silver suggests?

“One reasonably well-informed translation of the generic ballot polls is that the Democrats would lose 51 House seats if the election were held today.  . . .  

"And what if, for example, the Rasmussen case comes into being? Rasmussen has the Democrats losing the generic ballot by 9 points (and has had similar numbers for awhile). A 9-point loss in the House popular vote would translate into a projected 65-seat loss for Democrats. Or, if we adjust the Rasmussen poll to account for the fact that the Democrats' performance in the popular vote tends to lag the generic ballot, it works out to a 12.4-point loss in the popular vote, which implies a loss of 79 seats!

“The point is not necessarily that these are the most likely scenarios -- we certainly ought not to formulate a judgment based on Rasmussen polls alone, as the jury is still out on whether the substantial house effect they've displayed this cycle is a feature or a bug. But these sorts of scenarios are frankly on the table. If Democrats were to lose 50, 60, 70 or even more House seats, it would not totally shock me. Nor would it shock me if they merely lost 15, or 20. But their downside case could be very far down.”
Update:  Sorry, I've fixed the link.

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