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Sunday, October 23, 2016

One week ago, Roll Call columnist Stu Rothenberg wasn’t convinced that Democrats stood a chance of winning a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014. But today, as the latest Republican-made governing crisis nears an end, Rothenberg sees things differently: He now believes that if the Democrats ride this wave of support past the shutdown debacle, it’s possible for them to retake the House.

In his October 7 column, Rothenberg took aim at a Huffington Post article, which he thought jumped the gun by declaring: “GOP In Grave Danger Of Losing House In 2014, PPP Polls Show.” PPP, or Public Policy Polling, is at the root of his skepticism. PPP’s polls, argued Rothenberg, purposefully skew to the left to shore up support for Democratic fundraising initiatives and recruiting. His suspicions of PPP may be misplaced. After the 2012 presidential election, PPP was ranked first for accuracy in pre-election estimates in a Fordham University report, and, in fact, nailed the election results — calling every swing state correctly.

Nevertheless, Rothenberg wasn’t convinced by PPP’s recent estimations. After an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed similar results, however, he admitted a Democratic takeover of the House is quite possible.

Rothenberg argued in his first column that partisan polling is now the norm on both sides of the aisle, and that this is shown in PPP’s recent poll.

“PPP isn’t your typical polling firm. Its surveys often are intended to boost Democratic recruiting, fundraising or prospects. In this case, the ‘polls’ were almost certainly commissioned to create a narrative about the political repercussions of the shutdown and the nature of the midterms,” he wrote. “That’s the standard modus operandi these days on both the right and the left: have a sympathetic media organization or polling firm assert some alleged finding, and then have fellow travelers cite the initial report to try to raise cash or create momentum. It is becoming (yawn — excuse me) a little trite.”

However, after the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that the Democratic edge in 2014 grew from an “insignificant 3 point[s] (46 percent to 43 percent) to an 8 point Democratic advantage (47 percent to 39 percent),” Rothenberg walked back his claim that the House is not in play.

Still, he argued, even that poll may have overestimated Democratic support in 2014. It’s Rothenberg’s contention that the poll is fundamentally flawed because it was conducted during a major political event — the government shutdown. Polls conducted during major political turmoil have a “short shelf life,” according to Rothenberg.

So, what will constitute a trustworthy poll in his eyes? For starters, a Wall Street Journal poll conducted a few months from now, “after things settle down.”

He’ll also be paying attention to district-level polls taken specifically for candidates running for office. “Polls not intended to help fundraising or recruit certain candidates, but designed to gather strategic information for campaigns,” will be the telltale sign for Rothenberg.

Rothenberg’s change of tune has been echoed by some of the most conservative media voices recently. Just today Matt Drudge tweeted: “Speaker Pelosi Part 2: Opening Jan 5. 2015.”

Photo via Wikimedia

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Sand_Cat

    This should never be allowed to “settle down.”

  • Dominick Vila

    I hate to rain on The National Memo’s parade, but the extent of the political damage to republicans who voted for the latest CRs may be confined to the primaries, when they are likely to be replaced by more radical Tea Party zealots. Let’s not forget that what they did and continue to support is a reflection of what their constituents demand.
    They may have killed their presidential aspirations, but with the exception of a few Republicans running for re-election in blue states and districts, the GOP will retain the seats they currently have, and may become more energized and determined than they already are.

    • Elisabeth Gordon

      I so hope you are incorrect Mr. Vila….

    • ThomasBonsell

      You may be correct, as it pertains to those districts chick-full of right-wing radicals. The damage to the GOP should occur in those districts now represented by more moderate, or less-crazy, Republicans. They will pay for letting the far-right cower them into silence.

      That will push the GOP further to the right, and, hopefully, more out touch with normal America, and thus less likely to ever affect the government again.

    • Mark

      Depends on whether the people who blame Republicans for the insanity of late are as disgusted with the GOP as they say they are. If this is so, then even a Republicans in so called “safe seats” are going to find themselves in trouble. If the Tea Party manages to convince everyone that the shut down was really Obama’s fault, then you’re right, nothing will change. We as progressives have to keep reminding our neighbors what the Republican Party really wants…the destruction of America as it is, and a return to the America of the 1950’s. You know, the one where white men ran everything, women stayed home and had babies, black people were servants, brown people maybe had jobs as gardeners, and no one EVER mentioned those other people.

    • highpckts


  • Charvi3

    First of all we, the Democrats, are going to win those seats…just like back when, Bill Clinton…had two shutdowns…which there was a republican congress etc….and he ended up with an all Democratic Congress…it was the republicans…that fought a fight that they already knew they were going to lose..please read below…it will surprise you all….
    The Tax payers pays for everything…the salaries of the people in Congress are $194,000 a year…and you taxpayers pay for that the rent on their homes and the governors homes…they don’t pay into social security…their health insurance is paid by you…and we give them their spending monies so wonder the government is so bad off….the Republicans, remember they back up the “elite groups” the millionaires and the billionsaires…and they have been mad because they have to pay taxes again….this is why…they have been giving, Obama, such a hard way to go…the Senators and the House members earn $179,000 a year…and when FDR which to me stands for Federal Reserve…and the Federal Reserve Bank is still helping the President…instituted the Social Security Program…as a “Trust Fund”….for the American people to pay into it…so, when they retire or become disabled they would have an income to live off of….this is for both the Republicans and the Democrats working…one guy commented…they took a big chunk out of his paycheck…and I commented back to him…you earned a lot more monies…but, I bet you are still living the same life style that you were living then riding around in an expensive car…etc…and guess what it was a caring, Democrat that instituted that program…not a republican…which brings some memories back to me…that when Lyndon B. Johnson…another Texan as Bush and Perry are…said the Social Security monies could be used for anything and everything…so, guess what the President that told the rich folks they didn’t have to pay any taxes took us into a war on lies which he should have never done…he should have been impeached…but, I bet that one of the Secret Societies, The Skull and Bones which both Bushes…and Johnson and John Kerry and Bill Clinton belong to…kept him from being impeached….and then he took the Social Security monies that is rightfully yours to pay the men in the service their salaries and for their families health insurance…so, in the 16th Amendment it clearly states that the rich should have to pay taxes as well as the middle class….and he should have never touched that “Trust Fund” that FDR insituted in 1933…just for people to pay into for their retirement, etc…also…they said that Mitch McConnell won this battle…how did he win..when it was the republicans fault for shutting the government down in the first place…and believe me, Paul Ryan, the sorry loser has been telling the republicans to keep the fight up…it is ok…as, Roy Blunt a fellow republican commented…it is alright when you get into a fight that you know you are going to win…not one that you already know you are losing…well, that is Stupid for you…since the republicans fill Congress and the House they think they could keep dishing their stuff out to, Obama, and get away with it….well…..Obama is and was a Constitutional Lawyer…and guess what, Congress can be impeached for not seeing that the Speaker of The House, good old Boehner wasn’t paying the bills for America or not creating new laws to help the American people out…isn’t that interesting…remember…when you go to bed at night…just thank God…that He is still there to pray to all of the time…that you have a retirement program to receive an income for when you retire or become handicapped…what a joy to know this…the republicans have wanted to repeal that 16th Amendment for years…just look at what all the taxpayers pay for…and when the government was shut down….they should have not been able to recieve a paycheck either…they want to make our country into a communist country…where the people high in government are your richest people…

  • Tom S Brown

    Vote, dammit, VOTE!

  • Tom S Brown

    Get a compatible legislative body in Congress, VOTE! We only have ourselves to blame if we don’t get a workable body in office.

  • paulyz

    I believe that now that Obamacare wasn’t delayed, by the 2014 mid-term elections come around, people will be so shocked & angry when they clearly will see, just how much of an increase they will be paying for health care especially the young, who have little money to begin with, or unemployment.
    And when the National Debt increases even more, I think they are intelligent to understand how that will impact their future.

    • RobertCHastings

      Yeah, just because the ACA will not cover your medical marijuana?

    • Mark

      Why don’t you back up this usual, fear mongering drivel with dome facts. You do know what those are, don’t you?

    • nirodha

      In Rand Paul’s home state of Kentucky, polls show that there has been an overwhelming number of people signing up for ACA, because they are delighted with how much money this program is going to save them. Not too shabby for a red state, eh?

  • RobertCHastings

    If the Dems do not follow through with this over the next thirteen months, the public will display something we all are familiar with. Polls today show that voters BLAME the Reps for the shutdown; without constant hammering by Democratic leaders up to next November, polls will show that voters are equally prone to FORGIVE.

    • nirodha

      I don’t think that FORGIVE is the operative word in this case as much as FORGET. The average voter has a very short memory and something else invariably comes along to occupy his or her attention. You are correct that voters will need to be reminded this debt ceiling debacle over and over again before next November.