What Was Before Is Again

The New York Times ran an article over the weekend that the House of Representatives is still not in the hands of the GOP. A Newsweek survey came out with an oddity of a generic ballot answer. Gallup has been jumping all over the place.Had I a show, I’d say “roll the tape.” Instead, you’ll have to settle for this.Here’s Charlie Cook’s review of the October generic ballot data trickling out:


In polls by the Gallup Organization for CNN and USA Today, among all adult Americans, Republicans have now been ahead of Democrats on the generic ballot test in all five surveys taken since mid-August. In the most recent poll, taken last Tuesday and Wednesday, Republicans had a 3-point advantage among registered voters, 48 to 45 percent.A CBS News poll … among registered voters still found a narrow one-point Democratic edge, 42 to 41 percent, but that’s compared to a 10-point Democratic advantage in October 1992.An … ABC News poll found a 3-point Republican advantage among adults nationwide, 47 to 44 percent, compared to a 6-point GOP edge in both September and August ABC/Washington Post polls.

Tim Curran in Roll Call noted, “[A] slew of late polls show key races tightening around the country” and there were “indications of a slight Democratic comeback last week.”Hotline reported “recent polls showing Dems even or leading in generic ballot questions” and asked Bill Kristol for comment. Kristol said, “Republicans have not gotten as many votes across the nation as Democrats in a Congressional race in 40 years.”Margaret Carlson is on television saying of the GOP’s insurgency, “The corks were popped a little early.”David Lauter, writing in the Los Angeles Times, reports


Asked which party can do a better job on the country’s major problems, 36% favored Republicans, 29% chose Democrats and 15% said neither party….The GOP holds similar edges on individual issues, including crime, welfare reform, the economy and the federal budget deficit. Even on health care, where the Democrats once enjoyed a large margin, the two sides are now even, at 38%, with 14% saying that neither party is up to the job.The GOP edge generally has not come about because Republicans have won major improvements in their ratings as problem-solvers. Instead, respondents turned away from the Democrats, dropping their ratings. Moreover, the percentage saying they think that neither party can handle the nation’s problems has risen.

Yes, yes, the nation hates the GOP, but wants the GOP in charge.Now, here’s the catch — all of those stories were from October of 1994 ranging from 4 weeks to a week before the November 8, 1994, sweep of the GOP.The polls were tightening. The Democrats were again neck and neck with the GOP in 1994. Not only that, but the economy had improved. The recession was not only declared over, but employment was significantly on the rise.The President was on the campaign trail in October of 1994 trying to rev up black voters and telling people not to go back to the era of George Bush. Same this year.On October 9, 1994, a month out from the November 8, 1994 election, the Washington Post’s Kevin Merida wrote, “One matchup pits William Frist (R), a wealthy heart-lung transplant surgeon from Nashville, against Sen. Jim Sasser (D), an 18-year veteran who chairs the Budget Committee and is making a strong bid to be the next Senate majority leader. Though some polls have showed the race tightening, several independent analysts doubt that Frist has enough to knock Sasser out. But he is trying.”Bill Frist won the race 56% to 42%



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