I do believe in polls. They are imperfect, but they reflect something that matters in elections: A voter's preference between two candidates. I believe polls on elections are much more accurate and useful for analysis than polls done on issues, since the response to the latter can vary greatly depending on the way the question was asked.
The polls for Democrats are looking pretty bad. Just go to Polling Report and you can see every major poll done on the generic Congressional ballot since Obama's election. Most of them show a solid lead for Republicans.
But that's the generic ballot, which is notoriously misrepresentative because voters tend to hate Congress but love their Congressman. Not so this year. Because polls which ask voters whether their representative deserves reelection show a strong "throw the bums out" sentiment.
As some Democratic strategists tell me, the target is not really Democrats but incumbents. Hence, the anti-incumbent feeling will hurt Republicans as well. I disagree. The enthusiasm gap between Democratic voters and Republicans heavily favors the latter.
Unless the economy gets better, the Democrats are going to lose the House.
Nevertheless, on the state level, the Dems are looking relatively good. The RNC's announcement that the Wisconsin Senate is almost surely in GOP hands is premature and downright misleading. To do such a thing they'll have to win some tough races. Their two juiciest targets are probably Jim Sullivan (Wauwatosa) and Kathleen Vinehout (Alma).
However, they'll be distracted from these contests by at least one unexpectedly close race in Door County, which veteran Republican Alan Lasee is vacating. His cousin, Frank Lasee, may have some local following, but he will also be haunted by his advocacy four years ago for guns in schools.
The Assembly so far looks like a wash. There are opportunities for pick-ups on both sides. Jeff Wood's district will likely go Republican, but just south of here, the seat currently held by Brett Davis will likely become Democratic. Up North Dana Schultz is mounting a serious populist challenge to a Republican who has won with slim margins in the past.
Those are just a few races to watch off the top of my head. In the next few weeks I'll be looking more in-depth at Senate and Assembly races.