washington, dc

The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dem ’06 Prospects Brighten

by EDM staff
Has Bush’s bungled handling of Katrina relief and record increases in gas prices undermined the GOP’s chances in next year’s congressional elections? According to the latest Pew Research Center poll, conducted 9/8-11, 52 percent of Americans now say they would vote for the Democratic candidate for congress in their district, while 40 percent say they would vote for the Republican. A Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International 9/8-9 found that 50 percent of respondents said they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district, while 38 percent said they would vote for the Republican.
This is a significant increase in favor of Democrats from the most recent results reported by a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll. The Fox poll, conducted 8/30-31, the day after Katrina’s landfall, found that 38 percent of respondents wanted Democrats to win next year’s congressional elections, compared to 35 percent for the Republicans.
The Pew poll also showed that Democrats have double digit leads over Republicans among Independents in terms of which party can best handle a range of current issues. Dems had a 38 percent advantage on health care, a 37 percent lead on environmental issues, 15 percent on social security, 11 percent on both the economy and handling disasters and a 14 percent advantage on Iraq policy. If congressional elections were held today, 55 percent of Independents said they would vote Democratic, compared with 27 percent for Republicans.