Michael Barone has another interesting article today. He writes that recent world events have caused a shift in the political winds in favor of the Republicans:
Polls since the London arrests suggest what has been happening. Bush’s job approval was up significantly in the Gallup Poll, usually the most volatile of national polls, and the Democratic margin in the generic question (Which party’s candidate for the House would you vote for?) was sharply reduced. There was a similar trend in generic vote in the Rasmussen poll, which is ordinarily much less volatile than Gallup.
Connecticut polls showed Lieberman, running as an independent, ahead of Lamont, with Lamont having strikingly high negatives for a candidate with such limited public exposure. It seems to be a fact — remember the Paul Wellstone funeral in 2002? — that when most Americans see the hard left of the Democratic Party in action, they don’t much like what they see.
Of course, they don’t like to see violence in Iraq, either.
But the sectarian killings that flared up in Baghdad in June and July have been reduced — by 30 percent, says ABC News — by intensive patrolling by U.S. and, more importantly, Iraqi troops. It’s not clear, of course, whether the reductions will continue. Other threats still exist, like Iran’s nuclear program.
Earlier this summer, I thought that voters had decided that the Republicans deserved to lose but were not sure that the Democrats deserved to win, and that they were going to wait, as they did in the 1980 presidential and the 1994 congressional elections, to see if the opposition was an acceptable alternative. Events seem to have made that a harder sell for Democrats. A change in the winds.
Read all of his piece. He makes many good points.