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Late shift appears to favor GOP

regime change (in the senate)
Late shift appears to favor GOP

By Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY

Key Senate races in Tuesday's congressional elections are too close to call, but Republicans appear to have gained strength in the final weekend as they fight to retain and perhaps add to their thin House majority.


A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll this weekend shows that in House races, likely voters prefer Republicans to Democrats 51% -45%.

That marks a 9-point shift from two weeks ago, when Democrats led Republicans 49%-46%.

The GOP's 6-point advantage mirrors the lead Republicans held in the final days of the 1994 election, when they won control of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Frank Newport, Gallup Poll editor in chief, says the late GOP gain can be traced to three factors:

Jitters over the economy are declining. The poll found that those who said the economy was getting worse fell from 59% two weeks ago to 51% now.
"Democrats were counting on worry about the economy to boost them, and that decreased in the last two weeks," Newport said.

More Republicans than Democrats say they're more enthusiastic about voting than they were in the last off-year election in 1998.
Of those who said President Bush was a factor in their vote, respondents said 2-1 they were voting in favor of Bush, not against him. His job approval is 63%.
Control of the House is determined by the outcomes of 435 races, but what's known as the "generic ballot question" which party's candidate will you vote for? has been an accurate predictor of the House majority for 50 years.

Last-minute shifts are still possible as voters become more focused and party organizations gear up a get-out-the-vote push.

Labor unions and African-American churches tend to be most effective at mobilizing voters, which traditionally benefits Democrats. "But Republicans are more dependable voters," said Ross Baker, a Rutgers University political scientist. As candidates make their final push, the Senate campaign has come down to a handful of states. About 40 House districts still are considered tossups.

The tightness of the election is evident in five key states where USA TODAY measured Senate races. Four of the five are well within the polls' error margins:

In Missouri, Republican former congressman Jim Talent leads Sen. Jean Carnahan 48%-44%.
In Colorado, Republican Sen. Wayne Allard leads Democrat Tom Strickland 47%-45%.
In South Dakota, GOP congressman John Thune leads Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson 48%-45%.
In New Hampshire, Republican Rep. John Sununu leads Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen 46%-45%.
In Arkansas, Democrat Mark Pryor leads Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson 51%-43%.
The state polls of 600 or more likely voters Wednesday-Saturday had error margins of +/- 4 points.

In the Senate, the parties are split 49-49 with one independent. Republicans hold a 223-208 House majority, with one independent.

homepage: homepage: http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/2002-11-03-poll-usat_x.htm


I don't think it will be as big as 1994 04.Nov.2002 18:13

FWR

If its any help, I don't think it will be as big a gain as 1994. Actually, I think it will remain pretty even..

And mondale will win...

However, it won't hurt my feelings if you care to disagree..

--FWR

USA Today? 04.Nov.2002 19:08

igor71

I don't put much faith in the stats that USA Today might dredge up.

From my observation, it's a corporate fuckrag.

who knows... 04.Nov.2002 19:50

FWR

Who knows...

I don't think they spend very much money on off year elections, so the polling samples are pretty small in some of these states, that's why the numbers bounce back and fourth.

Zogby, is usually the most consistent, and accurate, corporate drone or not, he called the 2000 election on the dot as far as the popular vote for gore.

The exit polling data the networks get is from a pooled source that they all pay for. So they all get the same info at the same time. How they choose to use it is another story.

I have noticed over the years that if you know the anchor's own personal political leanings, its easy to read his poker face on election day even before the polls have closed.

By 1PM EST, they know based on exit polling who is going to win in 90% of the elections.

If the anchor and his colleagues have a look on their face like a toddler who just took his first shit in the potty, sort of a pleased with himself look, or attitude, the party he favors is going to do well (at least he thinks so).

However, if he looks nervous, or pissed off, or depressed, then you know its not going well for his side.

Anyway, it will be interesting...

--FWR

Geez 05.Nov.2002 10:02

Goatee

How easy is it for a republican adminstration to give a quick boost to the economy just before the election in order to swing the election in their favor! Or even just swing public opinion to think it is improved! It is all a big sham!

rags 05.Nov.2002 15:13

waste of paper

It is my opinion that the election day morning headlines are fabricated so that there is an embedded pre-image of victory. That makes swing voters so much more susceptible to vote with what prevails, because everyone wants to feel good and vote for a winner. Check out San Antonio's am paper for a great and apparent example.

I'm serious. The studies are already there. When this science becomes part of popular culture, these newspaper ploys will seem as obvious as early 1900's anti-black bias does to us today.

Don't these fools know that all of this is being recorded? They are digging their own (future) graves. Hee ha.

corporate fuckrag or not... 05.Nov.2002 23:00

FWR

fuckrag or not, it was accurate...