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Morning Jay: Brutal Generic Ballot Numbers for Dems, Van Hollen Fires Back, and more ...

6:30 AM, Sep 7, 2010 • By JAY COST
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This point has special salience this year, I think, because congressional leaders forced their rank and file to take controversial votes on health care, cap-and-trade, stimulus, and deficit spending.  It seems to me that, with health care polling at such a miserable level, one ad blasting Incumbent X for voting for health care reform is worth two gauzy bios about how Incumbent X represents "Real, Common Sense [Insert Locality] Values!"

3. Patty Murray Is In Trouble, Says ... DSCC?  You know it is going to be a bad year for Democrats when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee touts a poll showing Patty Murray -- the senior senator from Washington who has been in the Senate for 17 years -- up just 5 points over Dino Rossi, 50-45.   

4. Van Hollen Fires Back.  Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, didn't much care for the New York Times story about Democratic triage:

Van Hollen released a statement saying that the story "erroneously" said that the DCCC would redirect resources to two dozen viable campaigns if a review in the next two weeks showed that vulnerables weren't gaining ground.

"The Members of Congress referenced in the article are all running strong campaigns focused on their solid records and drawing sharp distinctions between themselves and their opponents on the key issues at stake in this election," Van Hollen said. "The DCCC is heavily invested in these campaigns. In each campaign mentioned, the DCCC has provided and continues to provide support for field operations and other key campaign activities."

What else is he going to say?  Democratic leaders cannot come out and admit that they are in bad shape. Otherwise, they risk depressing their voting and donor bases and really losing badly. It's similar to what the spokesmen for all those banks said before their companies failed: "We're not failing!"  They had to say that to prevent a run on the bank.  Between now and Election Day, we should see Democratic party leaders out there repeating the same basic points: (a) we're going to localize these races; (b) each race is an individual battle; (c) the Republicans are too extreme; (d) we'll lose seats but we'll hold the House.  Republicans in 2006 basically sang the same tune.  

5. Predicting the 2010 Midterm.  At the American Political Science Association conference, plenty of statistical models were unveiled that forecast the 2010 midterm results.  Mark Blumenthal of Pollster summarizes the results: three models predict the GOP will control the House and two predict it won't. 

Well, I guess that settles it.  Thank goodness for the experts.  We'd be lost without them!

I'll have more on these models later in the day.

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