They’re everywhere… and man, do they stink! We have piles of chicken entrails all over the barnyard, from the windmill to the hayloft. Those gifted folks who can read the entrails tell us:
The generic vote is even… or +17 GOP
The Democrats will lose 9 seats… or 90
The GOP will take the Senate as well as the House… or be shut out in both
Even our beloved Nate solemnly tells us the Republican gain will be about 48 seats, but it could be much larger… or smaller.
But among all the steaming piles (phew!) there is one historically accurate indicator for which we have a plethora of totally reliable polling information. That is the Presidential Approval Rating. We know there’s a strong positive correlation between the president’s approval rating and the performance of his party at mid-term. And we also know that despite all the wildly varied predictions, the roller coaster ride of this pre-election, the sturm und drang, the relentless drumbeat of hysterical abuse against the president… those numbers have stayed rock-solid for months and months. Like the man himself, you might say his approval ratings are “preternaturally calm.” All through the summer they have oscillated within a point or two of where they are today… 47% at Gallup, 48% at Rasmussen.
What does this mean?
In the election cycle that most closely mirrors this one, Reagan‘s numbers were similarly stable at around 42% throughout the summer and right up until his first mid-term, where his party lost 27 seats.
So… chicken entrails… smelly mess or reliable indicator?
They butcher, you decide.