Is Cruz Causing a Democratic Wave? Maybe, but Don’t Jump the Gun

Last week I observed that I hadn’t yet seen “compelling evidence” that a Democratic political wave could be developing. I can no longer say that after seeing the recently released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. That highly regarded poll showed Republican numbers have taken a considerable hit because of the shutdown and the media coverage around it. …

But the caution I offered in my last column still holds: Surveys conducted in the middle of a major event may have “a very short shelf life.” After the current confrontation ends, voters could easily return to their default partisan positions — or the shutdown and debt ceiling showdown could have created a new partisan baseline from which the GOP can never recover.

I understand that everyone wants to be the first to proclaim some new political normal, but that’s simply not how I approach handicapping. I need to see whether the fundamentals have changed, and if so, what that means.

So what am I looking for? [cont.]

Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call