Rothenberg Nows Says 7-10 Seat Democratic House Gain Is Likely, If Not More
At his blog yesterday, Stuart Rothenberg upped his prediction of how many seats the Democrats will pick up this fall, from his earlier assessment of 5-8 seats, to now saying it is likely the Democrats will pick up 7-10 seats.
The national mood remains bleak for Republicans. President George W. Bush’s poll numbers have not rebounded, and there is no reason to believe that they will before the fall midterm elections. The public still gives low marks to Congress and tells pollsters that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Here, he makes a critical point:
At the district level, voters are more critical of GOP incumbents than they usually are at this point in the election cycle. Democratic voters are already polarized against Republican House members, so Democratic challengers can focus their efforts at wooing Independents and disgruntled Republicans, rather than mobilizing their Democratic base.
And he speculates that his estimate of 7-10 may be low.
We believe that the House definitely is “in play,” and the key to whether Republicans can maintain control is whether they can discredit individual Democratic challengers who otherwise would be positioned to win. We are increasing our estimate of likely Democratic gains from 5-8 seats to 7-10 seats (they need to net 15 seats for control), with a bias toward even greater Democratic gains.
Another couple of months of $3.25/gallon gas during the summer vacation season, more months of increasing US deaths in Iraq while Bush backs away from "standing down when they stand up", and a Rove indictment should push Rothenberg's future predictions up to the 12-15 seat range.