Friday, 29 October 2004

Foley lost in '94; DeLay in '04?

A remarkable 26% of the electorate is polling as undecided in Texas' 22nd Congressional District, where it is widely assumed that Tom DeLay will be reelected. This is according to Democratic challenger Richard Morrison's own polling which shows DeLay ahead approximately 41%-34%. I've seen other polls that show DeLay with numbers closer to 48 or 49 percent, and running 11 or 12 points ahead of Morrison, but anytime an incumbent's numbers are less that 50%, that's cause for concern as undecideds traditionally break heavily for the challenger.

In 1994, I don't remember anyone seriously predicting beforehand that speaker Tom Foley would lose his own reelection campaign. His speakership was considered in jeopardy only because the Democrats might (as they did) lose majority control. I see many parallels this year with voter dissatisfaction, and cannot help but wonder if a surprise is forthcoming. It is true that safe districting has taken root all the more, taking more and more districts out of play, but if there is a year where unanticipated shifts may occur, this is it.

Very troubling too for Republicans, is a recent Harvard University poll showing unprecedented levels of interest in the election by college students nationwide. There is simply so much that's unpredictable this year with the increased interest, that my first advice is to doubt the pundits, and that includes me.

Another update on Tom DeLay's political troubles.
A call to action to help defeat him.]

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