This week, Howard Dean told a miniscule MSNBC audience that the GOP is shrinking. That’s because MSNBC only has tiny audiences. There’s only two conclusions you can draw if you take Rasmussen Reports’ weekly polling seriously: that either the polling isn’t reliable or Howard Dean is full of BS. Considering the fact that Scott Rasmussen has a sterling reputation as a pollster, I’m more apt to think that Howard Dean is full of BS.

This summer brought a significant shift in voter preferences in the Generic Congressional Ballot. As Republican Congressional candidates once again lead Democrats by a 43% to 38% margin this week, this is now the ninth straight ballot the GOP has held a modest advantage.

Over the past nine weeks, Republicans have held a two-to-five point advantage over Democrats every week. It is important to note, however, that the recent shift is not only because Republicans have been gaining support, but that Democrats have slipped in support. While support for Republican candidates ranged from 41% to 43%, support for Democrats ranged from 37% to 39%.

For the second straight week, the GOP’s margin in the Generic Ballot Question has been outside the poll’s margin of error. Of the last five weeks, the GOP’s advantage has been outside the margin of error, with the other six weeks being a single point from being outside the margin of error.

It simply isn’t credible to say that the GOP is shrinking when it’s opening up a sizable lead in the generic ballot question.

That leads me to this bigger point: Democrats are losing credibility because they’re telling whoppers at the townhalls. The Democrats’ activists aren’t helping with editorials like this:

In a recent letter, a writer wrote that if it wasn’t for Fox News, people would not know what is in the Health Reform Bill. Huh? Fox Noise gets their information from the right-wing of the Republican party, which has already said that they will not support health-care reform. They are not interested in helping the American people struggling with the high cost of insurance, only in trying to get back in power in 2010.

Simply put, FNC, especially on Greta’s show and Hannity’s show, are examining specific provisions of the various health care bills. Thanks in part to those shows, the American people think that they understand the health care bill better than their member of Congress:

Most voters think they understand the health care reform legislation proposed by President Obama better than Congress does, and about as well as the president himself.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of voters rate their understanding of the health care plan as good or excellent. Only 21% say their understanding of it is poor. By contrast, just 22% say Congress has a good or excellent understanding of the plan. Thirty-five percent (35%) say Congress’ knowledge of the proposal is poor.

All of which refutes Gov. Dean’s stunningly arrogant statement that the GOP is contracting. That’s before we start talking about how independents aren’t supporting Democrats like they did last year.

The harsh reality is that Democratic strategists must be drinking Maalox by the bottle when they read Rasmussen’s polling. The American people aren’t just taking this as business as usual politics. They’re looking at things and realizing that we’re living in historic times. That’s why the Democrats’ enthusiasm gap has disappeared and why Republicans now enjoy a significant lead in the enthusiasm gap.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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