Another Congressional Wave Election


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In the face of declining confidence in President Bush and the GOP, Democracy Corps has completed a new survey showing Democrats with a seven-point lead over their Republican opponents deep in GOP territory. This survey of likely voters in 45 GOP-held House districts shows weak incumbents, a large pool of voters winnable by Democratic challengers, and a real ability to win issue debates and stand up to Republican attacks. The underlying dynamics of the race show that the battleground could expand even further into Republican territory in November.

In the latest Democracy Corps battleground survey of 1,600 likely voters conducted May 19-26, 2008, we modified our sample design to include more hard-to-reach Republican-held districts. And even in this totally Republican battleground that Bush won by 12 points in 2004 and Republican members won by the same margin in 2006, Democrats have significantly expanded their lead and moved to a 7-point advantage (50 to 43 percent). Moreover, Republican incumbents continue to see their standing erode while Democratic challengers enjoy a greater cohort of winnable voters, win the issue debates and prove to be resilient to the most vicious Republican attacks. In this memo, Stan Greenberg, James Carville and Ana Iparraguirre analyze the underlying dynamics of the race and show that the battleground could expand even further into Republican territory as more voters are open to vote Democratic in November.

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