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Newsweek Poll: The Donkey Runs Strong

Newsweek/Princeton Survey Research Associates International has a new poll (conducted 10/5-6) out and for Democrats it's all good. Some highlights:

A plurality of Americans, 42 percent, now say they trust Democrats to do a better job of handling moral values; 36 percent say they trust Republicans more. This represents almost a complete reversal from an Aug. 2-Sept. 1, 2002 Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard/Washington Post poll in which 31 percent of Americans said they would trust Democrats to handle moral values better while 44 percent said they would trust Republicans more.

On which party is most capable of confronting terrorism:

On the subject of the war on terror at home and abroad, 44 percent of Americans trust the Democrats to handle it better-a five-point increase from the Aug. 10-11, 2006 Newsweek Poll. Thirty-seven percent trust the Republicans more-a seven-point drop from the same August Newsweek Poll.

Dealing with Iraq?

When it comes to the situation in Iraq, 47 percent of Americans say the Democrats would handle it better, versus 34 percent who say the Republicans would.

Your money?

Fifty-three percent say the Democrats would do a better job with the economy, while only 31 percent say Republicans would...Fifty-six percent say the Democrats would do a better job managing gas and oil prices and 53 percent say they would do a better job managing federal spending and the deficit.

And the kicker:

A majority of Americans, 53 percent, would like to see the Democrats take control of Congress in this year's elections, according to the Newsweek Poll. Only 35 percent say they would like the Republicans to keep control. And 51 percent of registered voters say that if the elections were held today they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district, versus 38 percent who say they would vote Republican. Among likely voters, 51 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate and 39 percent for the Republican candidate.

With less than a month to go, it would be hard to improve on such numbers. The challenge for Democratic candidates is to hold the line and close the deal over the next 3+ weeks with strong critiques of their opponents, clearly-stated policy positions and an inspiring vision for the future. The challenge for their campaigns is a fierce GOTV program in every district.