Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pew Research Center provides yet more data that GOP will be ousted Nov. 7

By Diane Silver

Had enough yet of George W. Bush and a Republican Congress? The Pew Research Center reports that voters may just have reached their breaking point.

Conducted Sept. 21 to Oct 4 among 1,503 registered voters, the Pew survey didn't record much of an impact from the Mark Foley sex scandal. However, the survey did show that Democrats are even more energized to vote than Republicans were in 1994 when the GOP took over Congress.

The Pew Center reports:

The comparison between the current campaign and the 1994 midterm election, when Republicans won the majority of House votes and picked up more than 50 seats, is particularly telling. In early October 1994, 50% of Republican voters had already given a lot of thought to the election, compared with 40% of Democratic voters. Today, this margin is nearly reversed, as 59% of Democrats have given a lot of thought to the 2006 midterm, compared with 48% of Republicans.

These indications of Democratic engagement suggest that the turnout advantage the GOP has enjoyed in recent elections may not hold this November. Current estimates suggest that Democratic enthusiasm may compensate for some of the demographic factors that often lead to lower Election Day turnout among Democrats.

On the impact of the Foley scandal... I'm skeptical about these findings. I suspect they may have more to do with the timing of the poll than anything else.

The scandal -- and especially the Republican leadership's apparent interest in protecting the party over protecting children -- may just keep some religious conservatives at home.

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