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Morning Jay: Generic Ballot, NRCC, DCCC, and Catch a Wave!

6:30 AM, Sep 21, 2010 • By JAY COST
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Any edge for the GOP among registered voters has unique danger signs for Democrats, because Republicans have a high probability (although not absolute) of turning out in higher numbers than Democrats on Election Day.

That’s exactly what happened in 1994. In the last three polls conducted by Gallup before Election Day, the Republican leads over Democrats among likely voters were higher than the leads among registered voters by margins of 9, 13, and 7 percentage points. To be specific, the registered voter gaps were +3 Republican, + 3 Democrat, and dead-even in Gallup's final three polls in 1994. The likely voter gaps were +12, +10, and +7 Republican. The last such numbers are from Gallup’s final pre-election poll, in which Republicans and Democrats were at 46% each among registered voters, but in which Republicans were ahead by 51% to 44% among likely voters.

Sean Trende has more on the generic ballot here, persuasively arguing that the most recent numbers are pretty stable when viewed in broader context.

3. NRCC On Offense, DCCC On Defense. Courtesy of Swing State Project, we have the latest NRCC Democratic targets.  Races in bold are those that Charlie Cook has as toss-up.  Races in italics are lean Democratic races:

AL-2 (Bright)

AZ-01 (Kirkpatrick)

CA-11 (McNerney)

FL-2 (Boyd)

IL-10 (Open / Kirk / GOP-Held)

IL-11 (Halvorson)

IL-14 (Foster)

IN-2 (Donnelly)

KY-6 (Chandler)

MI-1 (Open / Stupak)

MI-7 (Schauer)

MS-1 (Childers)

NC-7 (McIntyre)

NJ-3 (Adler)

PA-3 (Dahlkemper)

PA-7 (Open / Sestak)

PA-8 (Murphy)

PA-11 (Kanjorski)

VA-9 (Boucher)

WI-7 (Open / Obey)

TN-8 (Open / Tanner)

TX-23 (Rodriguez)

VA-5 (Perriello)

Meanwhile, Hotline OnCall is reporting that more than a third of the DCCC’s “Red To Blue” program, originally intended to highlight top pickup opportunities, is now touting Democrats running for Democratic-held seats:

The latest example are the two newest members of the program. On Monday, the DCCC added Ann McLane Kuster (D), who is running for Rep. Paul Hodes' (D) seat in NH 02, and Bill Keating, who is running for retiring Rep. Bill Delahunt's (D) seat in MA 10. Both emerged from primaries last week to become the Democratic nominees.

With Kuster and Delahunt, 12 of the 29 members of the Red to Blue program this year are Democrats seeking to hold on to Democrat seats.

The numbers are yet another indication of just how few pick up opportunities Democrats have this year. Democratic strategists acknowledge privately that at most they have 5 pick up opportunities this fall: DE AL, IL 10, LA 2, FL 25 and HI 1. The Democratic candidates in each of these races is included in the program.

At this rate, they’ll have to rename it the “Blue, Please Stay Blue” program…

4. Catch a Wave… You don’t see items like this in anything but a wave year:

At 84, John Dingell, D-Mich, is seeking his 23rd term as a congressman, and it appears voters are still on the line as to whether to support his campaign or elect a fresh face, according to the latest poll conducted by WDIV-TV and the Detroit News.

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