October 18, 2006 — At the Shorenstein Center’s brown-bag lunch, Peter D. Hart, one of the leading analysts of public opinion in the United States, offered a sneak preview of the numbers in the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which was embargoed until 6:30 p.m. Eastern time that day. Hart described the mood of the country, as expressed by voters, as being “as negative and as dank as it could possibly be.”
Hart said the results of the poll indicate that Democrats will have their best showing in a decade, or maybe two decades. Citing numerous factors to support his contention, Hart made it clear that the upcoming election will be a vote of opposition, rather than one of support.
Voters in this election indicate that they find the Democrats to be a “marginally acceptable alternative” to Republicans, Hart said. He added that voter sentiment, which could previously be characterized as “a plague on both your houses,” has become “a plague on the house of the Republicans.”