What Democratic Recovery?

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On Wednesday for the first time the RealClearPolitics "no toss-up" prediction for the Senate was a 50-50 tie. (Nevada flipped, as Sharron Angle moved fractionally ahead of Harry Reid in two new polls.) If the Delaware Tea Party had not succeeded in nominating Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, the projection would be a 51-49 Republican Senate.

NJ's Josh Kraushaar on Democrats' false optimism:

House Democrats have begun sounding an optimistic note that they will avoid a midterm wipeout as the base starts tuning in, campaigns engage, and President Obama travels the country reminding voters of the stakes.

A New York Times piece last weekend asserted that the "resilience of vulnerable Democrats" is complicating Republican efforts to win back control of the House, a narrative that quickly took hold in other news outlets. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has flatly refused to entertain the possibility that her majority is at risk, at least publicly.

But when you look at the national polling metrics and the race-by-race picture in the House, there's little evidence of any Democratic comeback. If anything, Republicans are in as strong a position to win back control of the House as they have been this entire election cycle.

Much of the newfound glimmer of hope comes from a misinterpretation of polling data released by Democratic campaigns and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Many of the polls aren't all that encouraging for Dems, but have been spun to present a misleadingly optimistic picture.

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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