Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Republican Blizzard on the Generic Ballot

Interesting,  it's still early in the political season, but...

Margin of Error
It would take a major turn of events for the Democrats to hold onto the House of Representatives. There I said it. Why the confidence on Republicans gaining 40 seats and getting to the 218 seats needed to control the House?

The generic House ballot is tilting to Republicans in ways not seen... ever. Or as Michael Barone put it, the Republican margin currently seen is "historically unprecedented". To those unfamiliar with the generic ballot, it is the question asked on national surveys that goes something like this "If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party's candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district?" I have often (in my own head) questioned the usefulness of the generic ballot because House elections are held in districts not nationally, and surveys are only getting at most a few respondents from each district for each survey. But the fact of the matter is that vast majority of research indicates (see Charles Franklin, Matthew Shugart, and the Pew Research Center among others) that if you properly use the results from the question, you can get a pretty good idea of what is going to happen.

No comments: