GOP Pollster: 2012 Data Predicts Dire Situation for House GOP like Comstock

GOP Pollster: 2012 Data Predicts Dire Situation for House GOP like Comstock


From the LuAnn Bennett for Congress campaign:

Additional Research Finds Split Ticket Now Rare, House Candidates Tied to National Mood

McLean – Republican pollster Robert Blizzard outlined yesterday the extreme difficulty facing down-ballot races trying to outrun their presidential candidate. Drawing on data from the 2012 presidential election, Blizzard found GOP congressional candidates in 81 competitive districts ran only one point better than GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Blizzard concluded that if Trump is polling less than 45 percent in a Congressional district, “that spells trouble for any GOP’er.” A new Washington Post poll found that Clinton respectively leads by 45-points and seven-points in the DC suburbs and exurbs that make up VA-10.

Washington Post political analyst Chris Cilliza further outlined the crumbling landscape facing Republicans like Barbara Comstock:

“First, a very broad but important point from Blizzard’s tweets: It is VERY hard for a House candidate — whether incumbent or challenger — to run significantly ahead or behind the top of the ticket in a presidential year. The presidential race is so all-encompassing for voters — and House members/candidates typically so little known — that how the top of the ticket goes heavily dictates the results of House races. That’s true even in cases where the House incumbent specifically tries to run away from the top of the ticket; voters tend not to differentiate all that much — if they are voting against the Republican at the top of the ticket, they usually do the same down-ballot. It’s why political waves occur — and why we call them waves.”

When confronted in the past with this possibility, Rep. Comstock has contended that voters will split the ticket, telling National Journal, for example, “We’ve always a tradition here of being independent minded.”

However, new research from the Pew Research center directly undercuts that argument, finding instead that “split-ticket” voting is exceedingly rare and on a “steep decline.” According to Pew, “In 2012, only 26 House districts out of 435 (6%) split their votes.” Further, split tickets general break the opposite direction than a Clinton-Comstock vote. Over the past four decades, “split-ticket districts were overwhelmingly Republican for the presidency but Democratic when it came to the House.”

“Republican elected officials, pollsters, and party leaders all feel the weight of a Trump candidacy, yet our opponent continues to support the party line,” Bennett spokesman Robert Howard said. “Instead of relying on fantasy split-votes, our opponent should once and for all renounce her disastrous presidential nominee.”

  • notjohnsmosby

    There were a lot of split tickets in the 10th over the last 16 years, but that was because Frank Wolf had already been in Congress for two decades. The first re-election is always the toughest, and Clinton should win the 10th by double digits.

  • lowkell

    From the DCCC:

    No One is Buying Barbara Comstock’s Attempt to Conceal Her Support of Trump

    What Will It Take for Comstock to Make Her Position Clear to Northern Virginians?

    Already this week, we can add three more major developments to the overwhelming list of reasons Donald Trump is unfit to be president. First, we learned that his campaign manager was paid millions of dollars from a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine. Second, the Chairman of the extreme, right wing, conspiracy-theory touting Breitbart website has just been brought on as the Trump campaign’s CEO – a man nicknamed the “most dangerous political operative in America.” As if that weren’t enough, Trump this week also called for “extreme vetting” and a new ideological test for immigrants before they are allowed into the country.

    With each new revelation, Barbara Comstock claims that she has not yet made up her mind, but that position is becoming more and more insufficient and disturbing to voters. And as DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward pointed out last week, even Speaker Paul Ryan says this is a binary election – voters have two choices. And Barbara Comstock has refused to rule out supporting Trump despite his attacks on women, immigrants, Latinos, disabled people, a Gold Star family.

    “Barbara Comstock’s attempt to hide her support for Donald Trump increasingly rings hollow for voters in Northern Virginia,” said Jermaine House of the DCCC. “People are looking for leadership in the face of Trump’s caustic campaign for president, and Barbara Comstock’s ongoing games show anything but leadership.”

  • Mike Roberts

    I’ve been trolling Tom Garrett (VA05) on Facebook lately, and his FB surrogate is trying desperately to navigate the razor’s edge (ala Paul Ryan), where he’s gonna vote for Trump but he doesn’t want to be seen standing up for him – spinning it as “willing to break with GOP leadership” etc.

    He needs to be seen as not running with Trump, so I think the play is to keep tying him to Trump by asking him if he supports Trump’s “agenda”, which he does for the most part. (a variation on my old “flypaper” thing)

    I haven’t checked with Dittmar’s people yet, so I don’t know if this is even OK for me to do – any guidance?

    • lowkell

      Makes sense to me, I like the strategy!

      • Mike Roberts

        Dittmar’s people got right back to me; told me they’d checked out some of what I’d already done and that I can go for it.

        I’m trying to be polite (more or less), but also trying to figure out how to word the questions and comments in ways that stamp “TRUMP” on the guy’s forehead as much as possible. He’s having a hard time with it so far. They’re ignoring me now. This should be a good opportunity if I can just stay with it.

        • lowkell

          Go git’em!

  • True Blue

    Evan McMullin will be on ballot in UT and CO, as far as I hear (didn’t make deadline in CA). What about VA? Is that who Comstock is waiting for?