Polling results on the generic Congressional ballot question seem to flop back and forth in no pattern I can detect.The latest news seems to be good for the Democrats, at a moment I would have thought would favor the Republicans. Newsweek has them up by 7 last week, compared to down 2 three weeks ago; ABC/Washington Post up 4 a week ago, versus down 8 three weeks earlier; Fox up 3 at the end of September versus down 3 at the end of August. In the meantime, the Iowa markets, which seemed unreasonably optimistic about Democratic chances a month ago, now seem unreasonably pessimistic, giving the Republicans a 45% chance to take the Senate and the Democrats only a 25% chance to take the House.

I wonder whether all this war stuff might be less popular than it seems. Bush’s personal approval has gotten a several-point bounce out of it, as have his re-elect numbers, but there doesn’t seem to be much sentiment for giving him a Congress he can work with.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: