A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Monday, November 06, 2006

Momentum Shift?

From the Washington State Republican Party:

GOP Voter Contact Effort Hits Record One-Day Total
State's Volunteer Force Makes Major Gains
in Final Days of Campaign
While national polls show momentum shift toward Republicans

Calling it "truly remarkable, and a testament to the power of volunteers," Washington State Republican Party Chairman Diane Tebelius announced today that volunteers around the state hit a record on Saturday for voter contacts made on a single day. Over 87,000 voters received either home visits or individual phone calls from volunteers statewide.

"This is a truly remarkable effort by our volunteers because of the power of individual voter contact," said Tebelius. "This voter contact effort is on top of the communication we make with voters through direct mail and paid phone calls, and that's why it is so effective."

Tebelius said that the numbers are impressive simply because it is a non-presidential year and midterms tend to have less volunteer participation. "Our volunteers know exactly what is at stake in this election, and given the strength of the economy, and the need to remain strong in our national security efforts, the Democrat's 'change in direction' on these issues, is simply the wrong direction."

National Shift in Momentum

Three national polls this weekend show Republicans making major gains.

The generic ballot is closing. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (November 1-4) shows Republicans cutting the Democrat lead on the generic ballot from down 11 last month (39-50) to down just four points today (43-47). The ABC News/Washington Post poll (November 1-4) shows Republicans cutting the Democrat edge from -14 two weeks ago to only a six point margin today. In addition, Gallup (November 2-5) has the Democrat margin dropping by half over the past two weeks, to a seven-point race.

The 1994 comparison: While Republicans held an average 1-point lead in these polls in 1994 and 2002, the current average Democrat lead of six-points is the same as it was in 1998, when there was minimal change in the balance of Congress.

Republican enthusiasm is growing.

Democrat interest in the election has remained relatively static, while Republican interest (+14) and enthusiasm (+10), have increased significantly, according to Pew, which concludes "Republicans now register a greater likelihood of voting than do Democrats..."

Republicans make gains with Independent voters.
The ABC/ Washington Post poll showed a net 10-point gain for Republicans among independents from last month. Pew showed a similar gain among independents of 10 points since last month and a huge 17-point net gain among moderates.

More Republican/Conservatives will vote.
  • The ABC/Washington Post poll shows the Republican edge in the generic ballot has increased 10 points among conservatives, from 68-29 (a month ago) to 73-24.
    • The final pre-election Pew poll shows a similar trend with Republicans now planning to support the GOP growing a net-3 points. It also shows a net-6 point increase among conservatives and net-18 points among white evangelical Christians.
      72-Hour Program is working.

      The GOP's 72-hour program has reached 27 million volunteer contacts through Saturday, hitting 3 million voters this Saturday alone. By and large, this effort will have its impact on Election Day and will not show up in most public opinion polls. However, some trends are starting to be seen in the data:
      • Republicans are casting a wider net: According to the ABC/Washington Post poll, among those who have been contacted by campaigns, 70% were contacted by Republicans while only 61% were contacted by Democrats.
        • Better targeting: The Pew study says that we are not only contacting more voters, but contacting the right voters: 40% of our party was contacted by Republicans, while Democrats only connected with 34% of their own party.
        More evidence of momentum
        • The ABC/Washington Post poll shows Republicans gaining on handling of Iraq (+8) and Personal Values (+12).
        • The Kerry Factor? John Kerry's "stuck in Iraq" remark has attracted the attention of eighty-four percent of voters, and 19%-including 18% of independents-say it has raised serious doubts about voting for their local Democratic candidates.
        • Following recent gains in the Dow and low unemployment numbers, those who see the economy as excellent or good increased from 36% to 44% in the Pew poll.
        • President's job approval increased a net 4 points.
        • Voters' view of the direction of country has improved dramatically - a net 14 point gain among those that see things going in the right direction in the ABC poll and a 12-point gain in Gallup.
        "The momentum shift is clearly in the Republican direction on a national level - our base is 'coming home' and that is critical in the closing days of this election," Tebelius said.

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