Monday, November 06, 2006

Narrowed Dem lead in polls; most watched election

Update: Florida early votes results for one county so far...
Early voting & absentee figures for Broward, Palm Beach & Dade counties
Posted November 6 2006, 4:30 PM EST,0,3592408.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

did Rep. Nancy Pelosi's gavel-photo op energize Republican base in pre-election-day polls, showing narrowing of the Democrat lead?

Or maybe Republicans got a look at the Pelosi voting record?

or was it Pelosi's crystal ball predictions?

A Pew Research Center Survey released on Sunday found that the number of likely voters who said they would vote for the Democrats was now 47 percent compared with 43 percent who said they would vote for Republicans.

Honsberger Live with Mike Pintek interviewing Bill Green... PEW poll shows in

D= 47% R= 43%

Pintek The GOP precipice

Fox 'n Friends reports PEW Poll shows... D= 47% R= 43%

notes the comment of Mark Halperin

There has never been only a change in one chamber of Congress, and not the other.

(Are they including those military absentee ballots?)(See the fallout from John F. Kerry's ... you will get stuck in Iraq...)

John Harris and Mark Halperin book The Way to Win featured on Greta with interview with harris...

A Pew Research Center Survey released on Sunday found that the number of likely voters who said they would vote for the Democrats was now 47 percent compared with 43 percent who said they would vote for Republicans. Two weeks ago, Democrats had an edge of 50 to 39. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found a similar tightening.

These kinds of polls, about the so-called generic ballot, measure national trends and do not necessarily provide an accurate measure of what is happening in individual House and Senate races. Andrew Kohut, the president of the Pew Center, said the poll nonetheless found that Republicans were becoming more enthusiastic as Election Day approached, a sign that the party was making progress in addressing one of its main problems this year: a dispirited base.

With at least 20 House races and 3 Senate races virtually tied in polls over the past week, Republican officials have looked to the huge voter turnout operation the party has developed over the past six years as its last-stand defense to prevent Democrats from making big gains on Tuesday.

A series of Mason-Dixon polls published on Sunday suggested a tightening in two Senate races, Rhode Island and Maryland, that Democrats had been confident of winning.
Poll: Democrats Hold Slightly Narrowed Lead

Republicans Cut Democratic Lead in Campaign's Final Days
Democrats Hold 47%-43% Lead Among Likely Voters
Released: November 5, 2006

Summary of Findings

A nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds voting intentions shifting in the direction of Republican congressional candidates in the final days of the 2006 midterm campaign. The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% lead among registered voters, and a modest lead of 47%-43% among likely voters.

The narrowing of the Democratic lead raises questions about whether the party will win a large enough share of the popular vote to recapture control of the House of Representatives. The relationship between a party's share of the popular vote and the number of seats it wins is less certain than it once was, in large part because of the increasing prevalence of safe seat redistricting. As a result, forecasting seat gains from national surveys has become more difficult.

The survey suggests that the judgment of undecided voters will be crucial to the outcome of many congressional races this year. As many as 19% of voters now only lean to a candidate or are flatly undecided. The Democrats hold a 44% to 35% lead among committed voters. But the race is more even among voters who are less strongly committed to a candidate; those who only lean to a candidate divide almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats (5% lean Republican/4% lean Democrat).

Republican gains in the new poll reflect a number of late-breaking trends. First, Republicans have become more engaged and enthused in the election than they had been in September and October. While Democrats continue to express greater enthusiasm about voting than do Republicans, as many Republican voters (64%) as Democratic voters (62%) now say they are giving quite a lot of thought to the election. About a month ago, Democratic voters were considerably more likely than GOP voters to say they were giving a lot of thought to the election (by 59%-50%). As a result, Republicans now register a greater likelihood of voting than do Democrats, as is typical in mid-term elections.

The Republicans also have made major gains, in a relatively short time period, among independent voters. Since early this year, the Democratic advantage in the generic House ballot has been built largely on a solid lead among independents. As recently as mid-October, 47% of independent voters said they were voting for the Democratic candidate in their district, compared with 29% who favored the Republican. Currently, Democrats lead by 44%-33% among independent voters.

Notably, President Bush's political standing has improved in the final week before the election. Bush's job approval rating among registered voters has risen from 37% in early October, to 41% in the current survey. Mirroring the GOP's gains among independent voters, Bush's rating among this crucial group of swing voters now stands at 35%, its highest point this year.

The final pre-election survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted among 2,369 registered voters from Nov. 1-4, finds that voter appraisals of the national economy also have improved. In the current poll, 44% rate it as excellent or good, compared with 36% who held that view in mid-October. Republicans and independents have a much better view of the economy than they did just a few weeks ago. Among independent voters, 41% rate the economy as good or excellent, compared with 29% in mid-October.

In addition, Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" about the war in Iraq attracted enormous attention. Fully 84% of voters say they have heard a lot or a little about Kerry's remarks ­ with 60% saying they have heard a lot. By comparison, just 26% say they have heard a lot about President Bush's statement that he will keep Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense until he leaves office in 2009. Most voters say Kerry's statement is not a serious consideration in their vote, but 18% of independent voters say it did raise serious doubts about voting for a Democratic candidate.

GOP Voters More Engaged

For months, Democrats have expressed more interest in the election and enthusiasm about voting than have Republicans. The 'enthusiasm gap' was dramatic in Pew surveys in early October (18 points) and late October (17 points).

These differences have narrowed considerably. About half of Democratic voters (51%) say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting, little change from Pew's two previous surveys. By contrast, 42% of Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about voting; that is fewer than the percentage of Democrats more enthused about going to vote, but 10 points higher than just a few weeks ago.

Moreover, Republicans have gained ground in recent weeks on measures aimed at assessing a voter's likelihood of voting. So while Pew polls in early October and mid-October showed virtually no change in the Democratic advantage between all voters and those most likely to turn out, the current survey shows the Democrats' eight-point lead among all registered voters narrowing considerably among likely voters. In this regard, the current campaign more closely resembles previous midterm elections since 1994, when Republicans also fared better among likely voters than among all registered voters.


Nov. 5, 2006 — Democrats head to Election Day with a continued advantage in voter preference, fueled by discontent with the war in Iraq and broad unhappiness with George W. Bush and the Republican-led Congress alike.

The president's party may have gained back some ground: The Democrats' lead among likely voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is perhaps a bit narrower than its recent level, unseen in congressional elections since post-Watergate 1974 and 1976...

Fifty-three percent of registered voters in this poll support Democratic candidates for Congress, while 43 percent support Republicans. Among likely voters it's 51-45 percent, less broad than the Democrats' double-digit advantage in the last ABC/Post poll, but still sufficient for change: Republicans won the national House vote by seven points in 1994, the year they gained 52 seats and took control of Congress.

The Democrats' advantage is remarkable in what has been mostly a 50/50 nation. The national vote for House, in the last four elections has been, stated as Democrat-Republican, 47-49 percent, 45-50 percent, 47-47 percent, and 47-48 percent...

A New Breed of Watchdog
For Election Day
November 6, 2006; Page B1

When Americans go to vote tomorrow, a new breed of activist will be on guard, monitoring polling stations for everything from voting-machine glitches to long lines to registration snafus.

Energized by disputed results in 2000 and 2004, they have left jobs as music conductors, real-estate agents and software engineers to form groups that expect to turn out thousands of volunteers who don't trust the country's ability to count its votes and have decided to do something about it.

"This is going to be the most heavily watched election in history," predicts Marybeth Kuznik, who founded a group called VotePA after the 2004 election to monitor voting issues in Pennsylvania. Ms. Kuznik, a former arts educator, calls herself a "progressive," but says VotePA includes members of both major parties, two minor parties and independents...


Mark Halperin

The ABC's of Media Bias

By Lowell Ponte | October 14, 2004

IS THE ESTABLISHMENT MEDIA BIASED against conservatives? Dan Rather remains in the anchor chair at the CBS Evening News despite his involvement in recent news stories based on dishonest reporting, fabricated documents and even Internet gossip falsely alleging that President George W. Bush secretly intends to begin the military conscription of students. These stories were obviously designed to damage Mr. Bush in the final weeks before a national election.

And now ABC News has left in place its Political Director Mark Halperin. ABC has done this despite the network’s acknowledgement that Halperin wrote a memo that to many seems to direct ABC reporters, anchors and producers to slant its coverage by downplaying the misstatements of Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry and by viewing negatively any misstatements by Republican candidate Bush.

Halperin’s directive reached ABC people on October 8, the very day that ABC “Good Morning America” co-host Charlie Gibson would be selecting questions for and moderating the second presidential debate between Bush and Kerry. Did Halperin intend to influence Gibson’s decisions in this debate?

Who is Mark Halperin, and does his memo reflect leftwing bias in his shaping of the news at ABC? To find answers to these questions, we need to consider the details of this memo-gate controversy in the light of Halperin’s past and of the famous radical left-wing father who shaped his political values. As we shall discover, Halperin has veered Left and crossed the line of ethical journalism many times.

The Note: Pointy Fingers

Monday, November 6
11:30 p.m. ET
Mark Halperin on
The Colbert Report
Comedy Central

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