We’ve talked enough about Charlie Cook on here for my regular readers to know to trust the guy’s opinion.
For the uninitiated, when Charlie Cook speaks, you listen. He’s accurately predicted voting trends benefitting both sides going back to the mid-80s.
Here’s the headline for his most recent piece in the National Journal.
Cook hits heavily on the importance of voter enthusiasm, and one set of data points stand out in particular.
Although 2010 is a “down-shifting” election, from a high-turnout presidential year to a lower-turnout midterm year, one group was more interested in November than it was in 2008: those who had voted for Republican John McCain for president. And the groups that showed the largest decline in interest? Those who voted for Barack Obama — liberals, African-Americans, self-described Democrats, moderates, those living in either the Northeast or West, and younger voters 18 to 34 years of age. These are the “Holy Mackerel” numbers.
Among all voters, there has been a significant swing since 2008 when Democrats took their new majority won in 2006 to an even higher level. But when you home in on those people in this survey who are most likely to vote, the numbers are devastating. The NBC/WSJ survey, when combined with a previously released NPR study of likely voters in 70 competitive House districts by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger, point to an outcome for Democrats that is as serious as a heart attack. Make no mistake about it: There is a wave out there, and for Democrats, the House is, at best, teetering on the edge.
Given how many House seats were newly won by Democrats in 2008 in GOP districts, and given that this election is leading into an all-important redistricting year, this reversal of fortune couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Democrats.
Nothing puts me in a good mood for the weekend like a prognostication of Democratic doom.