You have your marching order, <snark>and your check from George Soros</snark>. But seriously, progressives, turnout is our game. Let’s play it well. Don’t let this news lull you into complacency. Keep those tweets and blogposts coming.
So the bottom line is this: the Gallup poll indicates a pretty substantial shift in the partisan climate. But whether not it will be enough for Democrats to take over the House will depend on turnout. A turnout scenario like 2010 would not get the job done for Democrats, while 2008-type turnout very probably would. Some in-between scenario like 2004 (which is perhaps the most likely case) would make control of the House a coin flip.
Of course, we’ll want to see whether Gallup’s figure is confirmed by other pollsters — as well as how the numbers change over the course of time.
Still, this is a pretty encouraging sign for Democrats — coming, interestingly enough, at a time when President Obama is achieving his lowest-ever approval ratings in many polls. We’ll have another post up discussing the potential for this “double switch” next week — a Republican president plus a Democratic House — but it has become a tangible possibility (I would estimate the chances as being somewhere between 10 and 20 percent).
Republicans, meanwhile, will have to decide whether their hard bargaining strategy — which has produced some policy wins for the party while also making Mr. Obama’s job more difficult — is worth the price of potentially losing their majority in the House.
It was at roughly this point two years ago, in August 2009, that the generic Congressional ballot began to show a Republican lead. Republicans continued to expand upon it over the next year and a half as they campaigned against the unpopular Democratic Congress. If we’re on a parallel course this year, and voter sentiment continues to shift against Republicans in Congress, we’ll have yet another wave election.