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November 3, 2009
Gallup: GOP would win the House of Representatives
Psst. Don't tell anybody, but Republicans would win control of Congress if the election were now, instead of next year.
It's sure to remain the biggest political secret not in the news. Naturally, the media will ignore it; the polling company that produced the survey, Gallup, even buried it under a misleading headline.
Maybe, to get some coverage, the Republicans could claim to have hidden somebody in a weather balloon, or something.
The congressional election prediction is part of a one-two punch Gallup delivered Barack Obama's Chicago mob on Tuesday, albeit reluctantly.
Gallup's daily tracking shows that the spike in the polls from Obama's photo-op saluting fallen soldiers returned from Afghanistan was apparently short-lived. The cynically orchestrated visuals of Obama saluting fallen troops at Dover Air Force Base helped Obama climb briefly to 55%, but Gallup says Obama's job approval rating has quickly slid back to its lowest level, 50% -- one point lower than it was last week.
Perhaps more importantly, one year before the public heads to the polls to elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives, Gallup says their generic congressional numbers are at levels which would give Republicans a majority in the House if the election were held today.
Gallup, naturally, hides that startling result by headlining their report, "Generic Ballot Provides Clues for 2010 Vote."
Yeah, like REPUBLICANS MIGHT WIN!
The Gallup 'Would you vote for a Democrat or Republican?' question showed a dramatic slip for Democrats since July. Their new numbers show 46% saying they would vote for Democrats, 44% for Republicans. Despite the slight margin for Dems, Gallup admits:
Gallup projects that, at the 46% level, their most accurate projection is that Democrats would win 197 seats. Their low-end estimate is that Democrats would win as few as 186 seats. The most House districts that Democrats would carry, according to Gallup's projections, is 208.
All three scenarios would give the GOP control of the House.
If the election were now.
Clearly a lot can, and will, change in a year. Yet, these numbers put to the lie Democrats' contention that the 2008 election was a left-wing version of the Reagan Revolution. Surveys show that the U.S. remains a predominantly conservative country. It took an overwhelming, and rather oddly timed, financial crisis and an unprecedented $800 million -- largely of Goldman Sachs' and other special interest groups' money -- to get Barack Obama elected by just 52% of the vote.
Now, as one Iowa woman told the New York Times, folks are saying, "Oh, what did we do?"
The 2008 election wasn't some sort of sea change. Instead it was the political equivalent of man-made climate change. And just like global warming, it was a charade.
William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author