Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg is taking on the conventional wisdom in Washington that nearly all Republican legislators in the House represent safe districts from which they can't be dislodged in the 2014 midterm elections.
"I encourage everyone to step back and listen to voters in the current context and not allow a pre-conceived Beltway presumption to screen out what people may be saying and feeling," Greenberg said.
Greenberg told the Huffington Post that "Republicans are just as vulnerable as 2012 and that Democrats could at least replicate the net gain of eight seats they achieved in that last election."
Greenberg argued that voters are paying attention to "mayhem, gridlock and extremism in Washington," and many are blaming the GOP. He said that "By 64 to 30 percent, voters in Republican "battleground" districts' [where Greenberg considers GOP legislators to be vulnerable] off-year voters want their member to work with the president – up five points from October and 10 points from last summer."
Greenberg adds: "Just 39 percent of the voters in these Republican off-year districts want to vote for the kind of no-tax Republican that represents them. A majority want to raise taxes in a balanced way like the president."
Ed Kilgore, managing editor of the Democratic Strategist magazine and an ally of Greenberg's, wrote in a new email to reporters, "Dems owe it to themselves to read Stan's commentary and not passively accept today's common beltway wisdom."
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog, "Ken Walsh's Washington," for usnews.com, and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Facebook and Twitter.