Comment: Democrats in deep danger

Hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes foresight is pretty clear, too.

The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll, conducted over the past four weeks in 42 toss-up House districts, paints a clear picture of danger for Democrats.

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In those races, all but two of which are currently in Democratic hands, Republican challengers were found to be ahead in 31. The Dems still held the edge in seven, and four were tied.

That 31, added to some 15 Dem seats that are so lost they weren’t even worth polling, would put the GOP pickup at 46 if voter sentiment does not change.

But 46 may lowball the Nov. 2 result by a considerable margin, too, because there are another 40 or 50 seats many experts say are in play. Republicans need to win only a handful of these to put their gains above the 50-seat threshold, and few would argue that 60 is impossible.

A margin of that size would be historic; the 54 seats Republicans won in 1994 to take control of the House for the first time in 40 years is still cited as a blowout, a revolution and other locutions suggesting massive importance. There have been bigger Republican wins, but you have to go back to the days of FDR to find one.

All this is appropriately chastening to the many in 2006 and still more in 2008 who suggested that the GOP was out for a generation. But big election results tend to be chastening only to the losers. Forty years in the minority did not stop the GOP adopting the ways of an over-comfortable majority once it had been in congressional power for a few terms. And it appears to have taken Democrats just two terms to make voters queasy.

Some of that is doubtless due to the general dyspepsia produced by a sour economy. But some, detectable in our poll numbers revealing disquiet over federal spending and a high level of disapproval of President Obama, suggests that Democrats may have failed to learn lessons about overreach that become clear during years out of power.

By this time next week we will know whether the indications in The Hill’s poll are borne out by voter actions in the nation’s polling booths. And soon thereafter, we may start to see whether another new majority has already learned or needs voters again to teach lessons the hard way.

The Hill 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 4

- Looming anti-Obama midterm vote may not carry through to 2012
- Likely voters throw a wrench into GOP budget plans
- This campaign is the nastiest, voters say
- Blowout: 50 or more Dem seats set to fall
- Endangered species: Longterm incumbents
- GOP tsunami ready to sweep the South
- District by district
- Data: The numbers the stories are based on
- Editorial: Dems in deep danger

District by
district results

Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Indiana
Iowa
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Texas

The Hill 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 3

- Pelosi ‘majority makers’ are facing electoral peril
- Only 1-in-4 see American Dream as still there for all
- Voters are not worried about ‘extreme’ label on candidates
- District by district
- Data: The numbers the stories are based on
- Editorial: Election tides

District by
district results

Arizona
Illinois
Mississippi
New Hampshire
New York
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin

The Hill 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 2

- Voters more likely to see Dems as dominated by extremists
- Independents prefer cutting the deficit to spending on jobs
- Democrats have edge on question of extending Bush tax cuts
- Republicans are up in 8 of 10 open House seats
- After forty Dem years, Obey’s seat in jeopardy
- Majority of voters say they want a viable third party
- District by district
- Data: The numbers the stories are based on
- Editorial: The results so far

District by
district results

Arkansas
Illinois
West Virginia
Hawaii
New Hampshire

Pennsylvania
Michigan

Tennessee
Washington

The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm
Election Poll Stories WEEK 1

- Voters: Nancy Pelosi did not drain swamp
- Tea Party is firing up the Democrats
- Republican voters more ‘passionate’ about voting in the midterm election
- About the poll
- GOP leads widely, Dems in danger but races tight
- Feelings about Obama make midterms a national election
- Independents prefer divided government, lean Republican
- Distaste for healthcare law crosses party lines
- Editorial: Knowing who will win

District by
district results

Arizona
Colorado
Illinois
Maryland
Michigan
Nevada
New Mexico
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Virginia

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