Over at Tech Central Station, New York Postie and former Reason intern Ryan Sager says parallels between 1994 and 2006 may be ominous for a Republican party that has grown fat and complacent. He cites a memo recently sent out by Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), who is the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee. In the memo, Reynolds is trying to soothe jagged nerves over the mid-term elections, as some GOPers fear what they did to the Dems in '94 may happen to them in '06.
[Reynolds] hauls out a chunk of argument that looks increasingly stale and irrelevant: the idea that though voters are exceedingly upset with Congress as a whole they're still eager to send their own congressmen back to Washington, D.C. Reynolds cites a Pew poll from September showing that 57 percent of Americans would like to see their Congressman returned to office, versus 25 percent who would not.
But if Reynolds or his staff had done any digging into the poll numbers from 1994, he probably wouldn't have cited the Pew poll—at least not if he wanted to disprove the 1994/2006 connection. Roll Call columnist Stuart Rothenberg did some digging and found that a similarly worded poll from 1994, conducted by Yankelovich Partners, found the exact same breakdown: 57 percent to reelect, 25 percent to throw the bums out.
So, there's no particular reason to believe that voters are any less ready for a change of party in Congress than they were twelve years ago. In fact, another poll (by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) shows voters preferring Democrats to Republicans by 6 points nationally, even when the question is phrased using the names of their incumbent congressmen.
Whole thing here.