"[F]rom western PA through to the Plains, Republicans are going to sweep a LOT of Democrats right out of office," writes GOP pollster Glen Bolger about a new national poll he did last week for the American Action Network.
Why? Because of the kind of swing districts like those around Pittsburgh (that is, Districts 3 and 12; Cook rates PA-4 "likely D"):
The generic ballot shows Republicans leading 44%-39%. Besides all of the usual regional crosstabs, we also broke it out by the type of district. We looked at the sample in the 66 Democratic INCUMBENT districts that Charlie Cook lists as either toss-up or leaning Democratic at the time of the survey. In that key crosstab of Swing Democratic Incumbent Seats, the Republican lead grows to 49%-31% on the generic ballot. That is a very powerful crosstab that says the wave is coming.
Among the remaining Democratic districts (Likely/Safe Dem, and open seats), the generic ballot is an unsurprisingly 33% GOP/51% Dem — a sign that the historically safe Dem seat will remain so, while the swing seats will be a bloodbath. By the way, all of in the GOP held seats, the generic is the reverse of the base Dem seats — 52% GOP/32% Dem. Very few, if any, Republican incumbents will be defeated.
Now that we've sufficiently scared Democrats, here's some warm milk with a shot of brandy from Nate Silver, explaining why such generic ballot questions (and he specifically addresses AAN) undercount Democrats.
(h/t CQ Politics)
Graphic: Cook Political Report