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THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Democratic pollster Peter Hart: 'It's hard to say Democrats are facing anything less than a category four hurricane.'

From The Wall Street Journal:

A vigorous post-Labor Day Democratic offensive has failed to diminish the resurgent Republicans' lead among likely voters, leaving the GOP poised for major gains in congressional elections two weeks away, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Among likely voters, Republicans hold a 50% to 43% edge, up from a three-percentage-point lead a month ago.

"It's hard to say Democrats are facing anything less than a category four hurricane," said Peter Hart, the Democratic pollster who conducts the Journal poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "And it's unlikely the Democratic House will be left standing."

Mr. McInturff said the Republican lead among likely voters, if it stood, probably would yield a pickup of 52 or 53 House seats, surpassing the net gain of 39 seats the GOP needs to claim control of the chamber.

"A good chunk of [the Democrats'] base is disillusioned by what they've done, and Republicans believe the policies have taken us in the wrong direction," said Scott Jennings, a former Bush White House political aide now monitoring campaigns in Kentucky. "They've spawned a great conservative awakening."

While the poll showed overarching trends that favor Republicans, Democratic attacks on the GOP in recent weeks have solidified the party's hold on President Barack Obama's core supporters, especially African Americans and young women, while softening up the Republican advantage among senior citizens, the poll found.

The Republican edge in intensity of support, after falling from a 19-point lead in August to a 14-point lead in September, is now at 20 percentage points.

Tea-party supporters now make up 35% of the voters likely to turn out Nov. 2. Among that group, Republicans lead 84% to 10%. Just 56% of voters who supported Mr. Obama in 2008 say they are very interested in the midterm elections, compared with 77% of those who voted for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

For Democratic candidates, the poll holds some glimmers of hope. Democratic campaigns in their home districts appear to be having an impact.

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