Even NPR, with their hedging, is pulling the alarm bell:
In the Tier 1 seats, the Republican candidates lead 48%-44%. The GOP candidates are tied with the Democratic candidates at 45% each in Tier 2, and in the GOP seats (which are actually heavily Democratic), the GOPer leads 49%-42%. Combined across the 86 Democrat-held seats, the GOPer leads 46%-44%.
….Not every one of those Dem seats are going to go Republican – clearly much hangs in the balance. However, incumbents who are polling 45% or below when there is a wave against them lose.Underscoring the importance of the enthusiasm gap, Republicans lead 50%-41% in the 86 Democrat seats among high interest voters – those who rate their interest as an 8-10 on a scale of 1-10. That is reinforced by the finding that low interest voters prefer the Democrat by a 32% GOP/55% Dem margin. So, the group that Democrats are doing best with don’t care.
Stan Greenberg makes the point that these are heavily screened voters, so even the less interested ones are likely to vote. I’m a little more skeptical, and it underscores the hard road the Democrats have on motivating their voters. If they succeed, they’ll hold their losses down below 50, and if they fail, the losses will cross over the 50 level and could be huge.
There were 58 seats that we tested in both June and October. In June, the GOPer led 49%-41% in those seats. Now, the GOP lead is smaller – 47%-44%. But again, these are mostly incumbent seats and, aggregated, the Dem is both losing AND below 45%.
This tracks with the Gallup likely voter data, which would put Dem House seat losses in the 80 to 90 range.