BLOWOUT IN 2006?….Brendan Nyhan has a few graphs showing the correlation between presidential approval ratings and midterm election losses, and the results aren’t pretty:
A naive model in which the relationship between presidential approval and seat swings remains constant over time projects that the Republicans will lose approximately 47 House seats in 2006. And under a few different specifications I’ve tested, the predicted loss is always at least 36 seats, and usually much more.
In other words, even accounting for the fact that congressional seats don’t change hands very frequently these days, George Bush’s abysmal approval ratings could still cause the GOP to lose a few dozen seats. Can you say “Speaker Pelosi”?
All the usual caveats apply, especially the one about midterm elections still being a year away. Who knows? Martians might have invaded by then. In the meantime, though, Brendan suggests there’s good reason for Republicans to be running scared right now.