Doom for House Dems in 2010?

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Things still aren’t looking good for House Democrats this fall. A new NPR poll estimates that losses in the House could “well exceed 30 seats.” Via the New Republic‘s Jonathan Chait, polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, which helped conduct the poll, explains:

In the named-congressional ballot in the 60 Democratic districts, Democrats trail their Republican opponent, 42 to 47 percent, with only a third saying they want to vote to-relect their member. In the top tier of 30 most competitive seats, the Democratic candidate trails by 9 points (39 to 48 percent) and by 2 points in the next tier of 30 seats (45 to 47 percent). On the other hand, the Republican candidates are running well ahead in their most competitive seats ( 53 to 37 percent). As we saw in the special election in PA-12, Democrats will have to battle on a seat-by-seat basis — that has shifted these kinds of numbers this year. 

The effort by individual campaigns will have to push against walls that seem very hard to move at this point. We tested Democratic and Republican arguments on the economy, health care, financial reform and the big picture for the 2010 election. The results consistently favored the Republicans and closely resembled the vote breakdown. Democrats are hurt by a combined lack of enthusiasm and an anti-incumbent tone.

As stark as these findings seem, they shouldn’t come as a surprise. Earlier predictions had pegged Democratic losses in the House at 30 to 40 seats this year, as election prognosticator Charlie Cook has estimated. Nevertheless, it will be discouraging to Democrats that the basic trendlines for this midterm elections haven’t changed very much. 

There is one curious footnote to the poll’s main findings: President Obama’s approval rating is actually higher in the Republican districts where he beat McCain in 2008 (48 percent) than in traditional Democratic districts (40 percent). It’s been the plan all along for the Democratic Party to deploy Obama’s grassroots army–Organizing for America, now part of the Democratic National Committee–in swing districts to persuade Obama voters in 2008 to support “the president’s allies.” The fact that Obama supporters in GOP district are actually more inclined to continue the support the president might make them an easier sell in critical parts of the country.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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