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New Dem poll foresees House takeover

From NBC's Mark Murray
A just released Democracy Corps poll (D) of the 49 most competitive Republican-held congressional seats in the nation shows that Democrats are poised to pick up a significant number of these seats. According to the poll (conducted Oct. 10-12 of 1,200 respondents in these districts), the named Democratic candidates have an overall 49%-45% lead over the named Republicans. Among the top-tier of these 49 races (those considered by experts to be the likeliest to turn over), Democrats enjoy a 50%-43% edge; among the second tier, they have a 50%-44% advantage; and among the third tier, they're ahead 48%-46%.

The poll also finds that voter intensity among Democrats is higher than it is among Republicans: 66% of Democrats in these GOP-held districts are very interested in this year's elections, compared with 56% of Republicans who say this. Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, who conducted this survey, said: "These numbers reflect a meltdown in support for the Republicans and suggest a very strong wave in which Democrats would take a majority of these seats." Democrats need to net 15 seats to take back control of the House.

Democratic strategist James Carville, who joined Greenberg on a conference call with reporters, added that the poll shows the wave will certainly equal -- and perhaps even surpass -- the gains Republicans achieved in 1994. "I haven't seen any numbers like this in my career in national politics." Carville even argued that Democrats should borrow money to be able to compete in many more races. "We are not going to have an opportunity like this for a long time come."