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#1 Gallup: Battle for Congress Suddenly Looks Competitive (Drill, Baby, Drill Paying off
09-12-2008, 11:49 AM
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- Aug 2005
Gallup: Battle for Congress Suddenly Looks Competitive (Drill, Baby, Drill Paying off)
"Obama's Going To 'Crash And Burn' His Liberal/Socialist Party's American Takeover Chances !"
PRINCETON, NJ -- A potential shift in fortunes for the Republicans in Congress is seen in the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, with the Democrats now leading the Republicans by just 3 percentage points, 48% to 45%, in voters' "generic ballot" preferences for Congress. This is down from consistent double-digit Democratic leads seen on this measure over the past year.
If these numbers are sustained through Election Day -- a big if -- Republicans could be expected to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
As Gallup's long-term "generic ballot" trend shows, the Democrats held a sizable lead on this measure from the time they won back control of Congress in the fall of 2006 through last month. If the current closer positioning of the parties holds, the structure of congressional preferences will be similar to most of the period from 1994 through 2005, when Republicans won and maintained control of Congress.
As is true for the current structure of voting preferences for president, Democratic voters are nearly uniform in their support for the Democratic candidate in their congressional districts (92%), Republican voters are nearly uniform in their support for the Republican candidate (94%), and independents are closely split, with 44% backing the Democrat and 40% the Republican.
The new results come from a Sept. 5-7 survey conducted immediately after the Republican National Convention and mirror the resulting enhanced position of the Republican Party seen in several other indicators. These range from John McCain's improved standing against Barack Obama in the presidential race to improved favorability ratings of the Republicans, to Republican gains in party identification. The sustainability of all of these findings is an open question that polling will answer over the next few weeks.
The positive impact of the GOP convention on polling indicators of Republican strength is further seen in the operation of Gallup's "likely voter" model in this survey. Republicans, who are now much more enthused about the 2008 election than they were prior to the convention, show heightened interest in voting, and thus outscore Democrats in apparent likelihood to vote in November. As a result, Republican candidates now lead Democratic candidates among likely voters by 5 percentage points, 50% to 45%.
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