January 6, 2006
In an ominous election-year sign for Republicans, Americans are leaning sharply toward wanting Democrats to take control of Congress, an AP-Ipsos poll finds. Democrats are favored 49 percent to 36 percent.
“I don’t think anyone is hitting the panic button,” said Rich Bond, a former Republican National Committee chairman. “But there is an acute recognition of the grim environment that both parties are operating in.”
“If the Democrats had any leadership or any message, they could be poised for a good year,” Bond said. “But in the absence of that, they have not been able to capitalize on Republican woes. Because of the size of the GOP majority, Democrats have to run the board, and I don’t see that happening.”
Wow… 49 percent to 36 percent? That’s a pretty big margin. Things are looking pretty grim for the Republicans…
Or are they?
It seems that of the people polled, a large margin would like to see a change. But with gerrymandered districts and no correlation between this poll and the voters in contested districts, there’s not much real news here.
So I look where I always look, Tradesports.com. TradeSports currently has two contracts running. The two below contracts are traded on a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 will be the value of the contract if the Republicans gain control, and 0 will be the value if the Democrats gain control. It’s a rough estimate, but you can consider the value of the contract a percentage estimate of how likely it is that the contract’s result occurs:
SENATE.GOP.2006: Currently trading at 76.1
HOUSE.GOP.2006: Currently trading at 70.3
So the people laying their money on the line think it’s pretty likely that the Republicans will keep Congress. Given their performance, I wouldn’t mind a little gridlock, but I prefer the Republican Congress/Democrat President variety, as it results in the best fiscal results we usually ever see. But for everyone pulling for a Republican congressional victory in 2006, it is not yet time to fret.
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