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The Slip

By Matthew Yglesias on November 6, 2006 at 3:24 pm

"The Slip"

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You may be worried about (some) polls showing the Democratic lead in the generic congressional ballot slipping. Certainly, I’m at least a bit worried. Democracy Corps, however, tells me not to worry. They’ve been running a poll of the 50 most competitive congressional districts where they use the candidates’ names. They say the with-names questions has consistently shown an aggregate Democratic lead in these races, but that it’s been consistently smaller than the generic ballot lead. Their most recent named poll, meanwhile, shows no change in the Democratic lead in the with-names question. The Democratic lead in the generic question, meanwhile, has declined so as to converge with the Democratic lead in the with-names question.

This, according to DCorps, is all that’s happening. As you go down to the wire the difference between the with-names and without-names version of the questions goes away. But the without-names questions was always worthless. The with-names number is the real number, and it continues to show the same lead it’s been showing for a while — one that’s good enough for big Democratic pickups in the House. I don’t really have the chops to assess this argument in an expert manner. In its favor, I’ll say that it sounds convincing to me. Against it, I’ll say that DCorps proved overoptimistic about the 2004 election.

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