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Nate Silver | The Political Environment Might Be Improving for Democrats

By Donna
July 30, 2022 3:30 pm
Category: Politics

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As was the case when we launched the forecast a month ago, the Deluxe version of FiveThirtyEight’s midterm model still rates the battle for control of the Senate as a “toss-up.” But within that category there’s been modest, but consistent movement toward Democrats. Their chances of winning the Senate now stand at 55 percent. That’s up from 47 percent from forecast launch on June 30. It’s also up from 40 percent in a retroactive forecast dated back to June 1.

This is matched by Democrats’ improved position on the generic congressional ballot, which asks voters which party they would support in a congressional election. Democrats are now essentially tied with Republicans in our generic ballot polling average, after having trailed by 2 to 3 percentage points over most of the late spring and early summer.

In the Classic version of our forecast — which doesn’t use the race ratings published by the Cook Political Report and other expert groups — the movement toward Democrats has also been steady. There, their chances sit at 67 percent, up from 56 percent at launch on June 30 and 52 percent in the June 1 retroactive forecast. (We discussed some of the differences between our Classic and Deluxe versions of the forecast on this week’s podcast, and it’s a theme we’ll revisit in the coming weeks.)...

The other reason is that there are plenty of news developments to help explain the shift; the political climate would appear to be getting better for Democrats.

The most important of these is probably the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Democrats have made a fairly clear improvement in the polls since then. And although abortion may not be as important to voters as the economy, it did rank as the second-most-important issue in this week’s Suffolk/USA Today poll.

That’s not the only factor working in Democrats’ favor, though. Consider:

Congress has been surprisingly productive, with bipartisan bills on gun safety and funding semiconductor manufacturing passing, a possible breakthrough on a Democratic spending and climate bill and movement toward bills to codify same-sex marriage and to reform how presidential elections are certified.

It’s not clear how much the Jan. 6 hearings have changed public opinion, but they have highlighted an issue where the public is relatively sympathetic toward Democrats, with 79 percent of voters saying former President Donald Trump acted either unethically or illegally in a new CNN poll.

COVID-19 — an issue that was something of a no-win for President Biden — is on the backburner for most voters. In the aforementioned Suffolk/USA Today poll, so few voters mentioned COVID-19 as their most important issue that it wasn’t broken out as one of the 25 issues respondents named. Cases remain high, but deaths are low compared to earlier stages of the pandemic.

Granted, the economic news hasn’t been good for Democrats. Most voters think the economy is in a recession, even though the bureau that determines recessions in the U.S. hasn’t declared one yet and may never do so. But at the same time, some highly visible indicators have improved: Gas prices are down and the stock market has been in a rebound over the past five to six weeks. [Gasoline prices are back below $4/gal here in Tucson - Donna]


Cited and related links:

  1. rsn.org

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Comments on "Nate Silver | The Political Environment Might Be Improving for Democrats":

  1. by Curt_Anderson on July 30, 2022 3:38 pm
    If the Democrats can get the anti-inflation/healthcare/climate change bill passed the situation changes dramatically. The GOP obstruction of the burn pit bill isn't winning them new fans either.


  2. by HatetheSwamp on July 31, 2022 3:54 am

    The GOPs have HORRIBLE Senate candidates. They may even lose a seat.

    However, after the primaries, the GOP House candidates are going to release a "Commitment to America" which will focus on, presumably, fighting inflation, promoting domestic energy production, closing the border and highlighting Dem calls to defend law enforcement.

    Purple district Dems are vulnerable for their solidarity with Pelosi and the Doddering Old Fool in supporting inflationary spending, woke energy policies and acquiescence on the border and silence on the Squad's radical position on crime.

    pb's still calling for the GOP to pick up 25ish House seats.


  3. by HatetheSwamp on July 31, 2022 4:25 am

    That was supposed to be DEFUND. The autocorrect on this phone is insane!


  4. by oldedude on July 31, 2022 6:03 am
    "Congress has been surprisingly productive, with bipartisan bills on gun safety and funding semiconductor manufacturing passing, a possible breakthrough on a Democratic spending and climate bill and movement toward bills to codify same-sex marriage and to reform how presidential elections are certified."

    1. The Gun bill is where conservatives voters will rake all dims and RINOs across the coals. I "may" take care of less than 1% of gun deaths, while restricting legal gun ownership. It has a vague, ambiguous "definition" of assault weapon. My Ruger 10/22 rifle is now considered an assault weapon. It's a learner gun that is semi good for squirrels and to train kids as a "first" gun.

    2. The semiconducter bill only made the wealthy wealthier. (and little nancy is going to make millions due to insider trading and using her position.) I'm sure the GOP will make this a major issue of corruption within DC and the dims.

    3. GOP will use the climate bill as part of their counter to the dims and RINOs. It will fuel inflation to double digits for the foreseeable future (we're talking years) and keeps those dependent on petroleum (agriculture, transportation, logistics) for their livelihood. Consider how much it would cost to fuel a tractor with $10/gal diesel.

    4. the same sex marriage act. I don't see why the federal government is getting involved, but it looks like it's passing and will be used against dims only in some small, very Christian Conservative circles.


  5. by HatetheSwamp on July 31, 2022 6:37 am

    4. the same sex marriage act. I don't see why the federal government is getting involved, but it looks like it's passing and will be used against dims only in some small, very Christian Conservative circles.


    In the end, in an off year election, I suspect this will go the GOPs' way.

    The Big Government, Big Brother, side has been battered by its overreach and its suppression of individual freedom during covid.

    Same sex marriage is legal. The Court signaled that it won't revisit the issue. People are tired of Big Brother pushing his way around, especially needlessly.

    What's driving voters is the economy and that's a killer for followers of "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap."


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