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Poll: GOP Has ‘Record Lead’ Against Dems

First, from a deeply concerned Washington Post:

Republicans making gains against Democrats ahead of midterm elections

By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Republicans are heading into the final weeks of the midterm campaign with the political climate highly in their favor, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Americans are increasingly frustrated by a lack of economic progress, deeply dissatisfied with the federal government and critical of President Obama’s leadership.

For the first time in more than four years, Republicans run about evenly with Democrats on the basic question of which party they trust to handle the nation’s biggest problems. Among registered voters, 40 percent say they have more confidence in Democrats and 38 percent say they have more trust in Republicans. Three months ago, Democrats had a 12-point advantage.

On the economy, 43 percent of voters side with Republicans when it comes to dealing with financial problems, while 39 percent favor Democrats. (Fifteen percent say they trust neither party more.) Although not a significant lead for Republicans, this marks the first time they have had any numerical edge on the economy dating to 2002. In recent years, Democrats have typically held double-digit advantages on the issue

Which just goes to show you how much the media has been able to bamboozle the electorate over the last few years.

Among all voters, 47 percent say they would back the Republican in their congressional district if the election were held now… and among those most likely to vote this fall, the Republican advantage swells to 53 percent to the Democrats’ 40 percent

Obama’s overall job rating is at a new low in Post-ABC polling, with just 46 percent of all Americans giving him positive marks and 52 percent negative ones. On two big issues, disapproval of the president’s performance has reached new highs: Fifty-seven percent now disapprove of his handling of the economy and 58 percent give him low marks on dealing with the deficit.

The survey was taken during a week when Obama marked the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq. Overall, 49 percent say they approve of his work on the war, while 45 percent disapprove

So, ironically, the only sector where Mr. Obama has even slightly positive approval ratings is in the War In Iraq, where he is simply carrying out policies and timetables he inherited from President Bush.

Forty-five percent now consider the president’s views on most issues "too liberal," another new high. In previous polls dating to early 2008, consistent majorities said they found Obama’s positions "just about right" ideologically.

For the first time, a majority – 53 percent – of respondents say the president has not brought needed change to Washington, one of his major campaign promises.

The poll findings highlight one of the most significant problems for Obama and Democrats heading into fall: a steep erosion in support among independent voters. In 2008, Obama won independents by eight percentage points. In 2006, independents broke for Democratic House candidates by an unprecedented 18-point margin.

Independents’ disapproval of the president has reached an all-time high, with 57 percent giving him negative marks. About 61 percent of independents say Obama has not brought change to Washington. Nearly half now consider him "too liberal" ideologically

Negative views of the federal government have jumped higher this year, with 78 percent of voters saying they are dissatisfied or angry about the way Washington works. That’s more anti-government sentiment than at any point in 1994, when Republicans won back control of Congress, and the most to say so since the fall of 1992

A third of all Americans say Obama’s policies are making things worse economically, up seven points from April to its highest level. And the number who point the finger at Obama for economic stagnation is also on the rise, with 42 percent saying the administration deserves a great deal or a good amount of blame for the state of the economy, up 15 points from a year ago…

With all of these ‘unprecedented’ numbers, you would think the headline might have said something about how Republicans are making historic gains against the Democrats. But we can’t expect too much truth from the house organ of the DNC.

In contrast, we have this far more dramatic analysis from ABC News, and the man who actually conducted the poll:

Poll: Revolt Against Status Quo Gives Republicans Record Lead in 2010 Midterms

ABC News-Washington Post Poll: Dissatisfaction with Federal Government at Highest Level in 18 Years

Sept. 7, 2010

Swelling economic discontent has pushed dissatisfaction with the federal government to its highest level in 18 years, with the same forces that put Barack Obama on the road to the presidency two years ago now threatening to undo his party’s control of Congress.

Two months before the 2010 midterm elections, like voters now favor the Republican over the Democratic candidate in their congressional district by 53-40 percent, the widest GOP margin on record in ABC News/Washington Post polls since 1981.

Beneath that result: Broad rejection of the status quo.


"Ninety-two percent of Americans say the economy’s in bad shape. A mere 24 percent believe it’s improving. And for the first time numerically more say Obama’s economic program has made the economy worse, 33 percent, than improved it, 30 percent. Views that he’s helped the economy have dropped by 9 points since spring.

"A majority, 52 percent, now disapproves of the way Obama is handling his job overall, another first in ABC/Post polls. Intensity increasingly is against him, with those who disapprove "strongly" outnumbering strong approvers by 14 points. A record 57 percent rate him negatively on handling the economy, "strongly" so by an even wider margin, 2-1.

"Seventy-eight percent now describe themselves as dissatisfied with the way the federal government is working, up 14 points just since July to the most since October 1992. That includes 25 percent who are "angry," tying the record. Among likely voters, 30 percent are angry — and they favor Republican candidates by a vast 47-point margin.

There’s more to trouble Democrats and cheer Republicans in this poll, conducted for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York. After his winning the White House on the mantra of change, 53 percent of Americans now say Obama has failed to deliver "needed change to Washington." And just half now say he "shares your values" or "understands the problems of people like you," both vastly down from their highs…

It’s almost as if the Washington Post was trying to play down the bad news.

Still, we can’t help but notice that many of these current polls are not oversampling Democrats to the extent that they used to. For instance, in this ABC News/Washington Post poll they are only oversampling Democrats by 6%, which is less than half of the advantage they used to regularly give them.

Are the pollsters trying to be more accurate, or is there another strategy at work?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Poll: GOP Has ‘Record Lead’ Against Dems”

  1. Ultra-C says:

    The “generic ballot” has always been nearly useless in predicting GOP gains or losses; for some strange, odd reason, it always shows a big lead for Dim-o-crats that never really materializes in the end. Rarely has the GOP had any lead at all in the generic ballot. And now, for the GOP to have a huge lead (when in the past they’ve made significant gains where Dim’s had the lead), well, let’s just say that the WaPo has gone past wet underwear and is now in the stinky territory.

  2. untrainable says:

    Good catch on the oversampling. They still oversample dumbocrats by 6% and that’s supposed to be fair? Is that social fairness, collective fairness, or progressive fairness?

    I also wonder how anyone can say anything about Obama’s “Leadership”. How can you disparage something that doesn’t exist?

  3. proreason says:

    “Are the pollsters trying to be more accurate, or is there another strategy at work?”

    Yes, clearly. They would never reveal bad news unless they felt it was absolutely necessary.

    Particularly when their sop is to gen up their own polls to say whatever the propaganda du jour is.

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