The Republican victory in the House was truly historic. It was one of the largest congressional swings in American history, but it should not have come as a shock to any Democrat in Congress. For almost a year it was plainly evident to the DCCC and others that the party had screwed up royally and was facing massive loses.
In January, FDL hired SurveyUSA to test “swing” congressional districts and find out just how much damage Democrats’ incompetent handling of the health care debate was doing to them. The results from our four polls in OH-01, AR-02, IN-02, and NY-01 are almost identical to final results yesterday:
|OH-01||FDL/SUSA Poll||Election Results|
|Steve Driehaus (D)||39||Steve Driehaus (D)||45.1|
|Steve Chabot (R)||56||Steve Chabot (R)||52.4|
|Tim Bishop (D)||47||Tim Bishop (D)||50.9|
|Randy Altschuler (R)||45||Randy Altschuler (R)||49.1|
|Vic Snyder (D)*||39||Joyce Elliot (D)||38.2|
|Tim Griffin (R)||56||Tim Griffin (R)||57.9|
|Baron Hill (D)||41||Baron Hill (D)||42.2|
|Mike Sodrel (R)*||49||Tod Young (R )||52.3|
Despite the polls being conducted 10 months ago, Vic Snyder dropping out after the poll was released, and Todd Young beating Mike Sodrel in the Republican primary, the accuracy is impressive. And I think it helps demonstrate just how much this Congressional election was about rejecting Democratic leadership and President Obama, and not about the individual House candidates. The party lost the electorate during their terrible handling of health care reform and never won it back.
These polls should have been a huge warning to Democrats, as they were clearly pointing to a historic wave on the horizon. They should have caused the Democrats to undertake serious changes in an effort to avoid the oncoming catastrophe. Instead, the DCCC launched a coordinated effort to discredit and ignore the polling.
While the wave was historic, it should not have caught the Democrats by surprise. They had almost a year to prepare after the warning. Even with that much lead time, they were unable to right the ship. One has to wonder if they’ll be capable of doing so now.