Congress Up for Grabs

We were expecting a very rough year for the Congressional GOP, but perhaps we were being too pessimistic:

PRINCETON, NJ — A potential shift in fortunes for the Republicans in Congress is seen in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with the Democrats now leading the Republicans by just 3 percentage points, 48% to 45%, in voters’ “generic ballot” preferences for Congress. This is down from consistent double-digit Democratic leads seen on this measure over the past year.

Given that Democrats always poll well in the generic ballot question, this is an exceptionally stunning turn around – and it does explain why some House Democrats are starting to get the jitters and also to distance themselves from Obama and the national party.

There are a lot of things at work here – Obama’s poor performance since about mid-April; McCain’s very effective campaign; the Palin pick; backlash against the MSM/Democratic party for how they are treating Palin; a series of recent stories highlighting Democratic corruption; a sense that the Democratic majority has been entirely ineffective…will it all come together and give the GOP a new majority? Perhaps – I’m not sure; as in all things about election 2008, there are just too many uncertainties out there, and it is notoriously difficult to figure House races via polling. But one thing is certain – GOP efforts and Democratic flubs have turned what was once a near-certain Democratic wave into a down-to-the-wire battle which can go either way. The nation, dear lefties, did not actually turn left in 2006 – the people voted against the GOP, but not in favor of you…you had to close the deal and by nominating an ultra-liberal empty suit, you might just have cut yourselves off at the knees.