Debacle of Historic Proportions Looms for Democrats

Monday, 01 Nov 2010 01:58 PM

By David A. Patten

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Tsunami. Earthquake. Hurricane. Even as pundits struggle to find new metaphors to describe the scope of the GOP landslide expected on Tuesday, the latest polls indicate the midterm grass-roots wave could be even more powerful than analysts are predicting.

Respected political gurus Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg said Monday morning that a 60-seat GOP gain in the House is possible, and a six- to eight-seat GOP gain in the Senate is likely.

"If we're wrong, it's higher," Cook told the audience of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Like a clarion warning of an impending catastrophe, a new Gallup/USA Today poll released Monday indicates that Democrats could be in for a political bloodletting of historical proportions.

tea,party,election,The gap in the generic ballot between two parties has not been greater since the post-Watergate era, the poll reports. By a 55 percent to 40 percent margin, likely voters said they'd prefer to elect a Republican over a Democrat on Tuesday.

Neither party has enjoyed such a dominating position in the generic ballot in more than 35 years, and grass-roots activists were ecstatic about that poll result.

“We’ve known all along that the conservative anti-establishment wave would be huge," FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe tells Newsmax. "But it’s fitting that the reaction to the establishment agenda is expected to be comparable to the reaction to Watergate. The American people are ready to say that Obamacare, out of control spending and the rest of the far-left agenda are as destructive to our nation as Watergate was."

Another ominous sign for Democrats: party leaders' last-minute efforts to boost voter turnout. "Whenever I hear a party say that they are counting on turnout, that means big trouble," former Bush campaign adviser Mark McKinnon tells Newsmax. "Voters are saying we wanted change, but not the change Obama had in mind."

Longtime GOP strategist Roger Stone predicts that voters are poised to send Democrats a devastating message of discontent.

"This year's GOP sweep shows voters want accountability, an end to wasteful spending. and tax reduction," Stone tells Newsmax. "And they are tired of an 'elite' political class that perpetuates it itself but delivers nothing for the people," Stone says.

"The shock would be if Republicans don't do well, rather than the fact that they are going to do well," University of South Florida political science professor Susan McManus tells Newsmax. "Rarely do you see so many polls converge in the same direction with the same magnitude that we see right now. I think that the Republican enthusiasm gap is going to prevail, and Republicans are going to do well around the country."

In the waning hours of the campaign, many additional indications are emerging that Democrats may now face a debacle that could exceed the GOP gains seen in the conservative revolution of 1994. Among them:
  • An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows about half of all likely voters want a GOP-led Congress. Also, Republicans have a 12-point edge in enthusiasm, 53 percent to 41 percent. "This is a devastating set of data for the incumbent party," GOP pollster Bill McInturff told NBC News.
  • President Obama's job-approval rating has dropped 2 points in the past month and now stands at 45 percent, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll states.
  • RealClearPolitics.com estimates a whopping 67-seat GOP gain in the House, based on its elaborate analysis of poll results nationwide. Its average GOP edge in the generic ballot, based on an average of 10 recent polls, stands at 8 percent.
  • New polls of specific races bear ominous news for Democrats. Washington Incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray's lead in the RealClearPolitics average of polls, in a race Democrats lauded as part of their "Pacific Coast firewall," is now three-tenths of one percent over GOP challenger Dino Rossi.
  • Republicans Ken Buck in Colorado and Sharron Angle in Nevada appear to have established narrow but consistent leads in their respective races. Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer's lead over former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in California is just 4 points, according to the latest Public Policy Polling data.
There is one caveat to all the bullish predictions of GOP dominance on Tuesday: The Cook Political Report stated on Sunday that the GOP's chances of winning the 51 votes it needs to control the Senate are "nonexistent." But even Cook says his projections could underestimate the force of Tuesday's wave.

Says Stone, "Barack Obama thought the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election was a repudiation of conservatism and a voter approval of higher taxes, massive spending and deeper debt," Stone tells Newsmax. "This year's elections prove that this was wrong. Many voters did not understand the 'change' they voted for."

But to capitalize on the strong tide of public sentiment, Republicans will have to avoid their tendency to cause self-inflicted wounds once they gain power.

"The GOP needs to be aware this election was a rejection of Obama and Democrat policies but not necessarily an affirmation of Republicans," McKinnon says. "A lot of work needs to be done to rebuild the Republican brand."



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