Republicans aren’t a lock to maintain control of the House, as has been assumed for months, says William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard
He cites a new poll from Politico/George Washington University/Battleground to buttress his contention. The survey “seems to have produced solid and non-quirky results consistent with several other surveys,” Kristol writes on his blog
It shows President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 50 to 47 percent among likely voters. And it shows Democrats leading Republicans 44 to 42 percent on a generic ballot, 46 to 45 percent when voters just “leaning” Democratic or Republican are included.
The poll has a 3 percentage-point margin of error.
Republicans outnumber Democrats in the House 240 to 190 now. So Democrats would have to pick up 26 seats to definitively regain control.
The Politico survey “raises the question: is the conventional assumption that Republicans will continue to hold the House sound?” Kristol writes. “It may not be. Two other recent likely voter polls have produced a tied generic congressional ballot.”
The closest the national popular vote for the House in recent years came in 2000, when Republicans won the popular vote by 0.3 percentage point, and ended up with a 221 to 212 majority of seats, Kristol says.
“If I may once again quote the prophet Aladdin: ‘Abu, this is no time to panic. Start panicking!’”
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