I just though you all might like to see this polling memo (pdf) from Democracy Corps. I think it speaks for itself:
Right now, the Democrats enjoy an average lead of 12 points in the generic presidential race (51 to 39 percent) and 9 points in the named congressional ballot (51 to 42 percent). But let us point to some of the trends underneath that make 2008 look like a very big election.
• The Democrats’ lead in both the Presidential and Congressional races is undiminished in the ‘core’ group of the most likely voters. Usually, the Republicans cut some of the margin on Election Day because of turnout patterns, but that is not likely in 2008.
• Education – one of the best predictors of vote over the past decade – is losing its power,with both well-educated and blue collar voters moving to the Democrats. In the Congressional ballot, for example, the high school educated give the Democrat an 11- point lead, dropping to 10 points among those with some high school and 8 points amongthe college educated. In short, the rush to be done with the Republicans is turning America a little classless.
• The ‘opinion elite’ in the country – those with a college education and earning more than$75,000 – are supporting the Democratic presidential candidate by 11 points (52 to 41percent). The elites are apparently fed up with the state of the country under George Bush.
• While the Democratic Presidential candidate is winning the Kerry counties by a two-to one margin, the Republican candidate is only winning the Bush counties by 1 point (46 to 45 percent). The Republican nominee will struggle to come back in the battleground states. Just as important, a lot of Republican incumbents will be running in supposedly ‘red’ districts and states, but find them evenly divided. The Republican Presidential candidate is barely ahead among white rural voters (48 to 41 percent).
Contours of the New Electorate
• The Democratic Presidential candidate is carrying those with family members serving inIraq by almost the same margin as for voters overall, 50 to 43 percent. Democratic Congressional candidates who have been prominently trying to change Iraq policy have an even larger lead, 53 to 42 percent.
• The Democratic Presidential candidate is carrying all Catholics by 18 points and white Catholics by 13 (51 to 38 percent). This would represent a major change in political direction. In fact, the Democrat is running marginally ahead among white Catholics who attend Church every week.
• The big difference in the race is independents: Presidentially, Democrats are ahead by 19 points; Congressionally, by 14 points. It is the crash with independents more than Republican defections that is driving the Republican vote down.
• The Democrats are getting landslide margins with voters under 30; they are even winning whites under 30 by 14 points.
• Instead of losing younger white non-college men by 19 points as in 2004, the Democratic Presidential candidate now is losing them by only 2.
• Union voters have not in recent decades been as solid for the Democrats as now. In fact, Democrats are winning white union households by two-to-one.
• One of the key blocs of ‘swing’ voters is married women. They are breaking marginally for the Democrats this year after swinging strongly for the Republicans in 2004. White married women are breaking even in the Presidential, and Congressionally, the Republican candidate is ahead by only 4 points.
• One of the key blocs of ‘base’ voters for Democrats is unmarried women – who could comprise a quarter of the electorate. The Democrats are winning them by two to one; they are winning white unmarried women by over 20 points.
It's a mistake to be complacent. A lot can happen in the next year and a whole lot of this comes from the incredibly sour taste in people's mouths after six years of the Bush administration. (Thanks Turdblossom.)
But you have to be optimistic, at least, that the American people are eager to hear a new story. The question is whether the Democrats can tell it.