House Election 2010

Republicans hit 50% on Gallup generic congressional ballot

The latest generic congressional ballot from Gallup shows Republicans finally hitting 50%, while Democrats are at 43%. Republicans also hold a 13 point advantage over Democrats (47% to 34%) among independent voters:

According to the chart below from FiveThirtyEight, a +7 advantage in the generic congressional ballot could translate into a 50+ seat pick-up in the House of Representatives, more than what is needed to take control of that chamber.

CNN poll: Obama trails “generic Republican”

A new poll from CNN shows voter discontent with President Barack Obama mounting as a “generic Republican” would beat him in 2012:

Pres. Obama trails a generic GOPer in a WH ‘12 re-election bid, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released today. Among registered voters, fully half, 50%, said they were more likely to vote for a generic GOPer, while just 45% said they were more likely to vote for Obama.

While the numbers are striking, the generic ballot at this stage doesn’t always mean the incumbent pres. is destined for just one term. Prior to his re-election bid, George W. Bush never trailed a generic Dem, according to trends from what was then the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. The closest a generic Dem came to Bush was 47-43% in Sept. ‘03.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand, trailed a generic opponent from the GOP by wide margins. In Dec. ‘94, a month after his party was drubbed at the polls in the midterm elections, the generic GOP candidate led Clinton, 53-39%.

CNN also tested the GOP contenders against one another in a national primary. Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (21%) edged ahead of ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (18%), with ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (15%), ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee (14%) and Rep. Ron Paul (10%) trailing behind.

The poll was conducted with registered voters, which tends to tilt Democratic, so I would wager that the numbers are somewhat inflated. You can view more information on the poll here.

ObamaCare is still toxic

Despite all of the spin, ObamaCare is still politically toxic for Democrats, according to Peter Brown of Quinnipiac:

Regardless of the eventual court decision on the federal law, the health overhaul remains a political loser in most of the country.

Poll data on the issue is somewhat mixed, and the questions pollsters ask often vary as do the samples queried. Some polls ask all adults their views, others just registered or likely voters.

Quinnipiac University’s national poll found at the end of May that 51% of registered voters disapproved of the health care overhaul and 40% approved, statistically unchanged from 53%-39% disapproval in April. Pew Research found that in July, adults disapproved of the new law 47%-35%, worse than the 44%-40% disapproval in its April survey. A CBS News July poll found that 36% approved of the law, while 49% opposed it.

A poll done last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has often shown greater acceptance of the plan than many other surveys, found that voters viewed the law favorably by 50%-35%. In May, the foundation’s poll found that voters viewed it unfavorably, 44%-41%.

Nevertheless, the political attacks on those who voted for the health care overhaul and, in some states, against those who oppose challenging its existence, remain a viable political weapon.

There is, of course, still a long time until the election. But at this point, the White House predictions that the law would be a boon for Democrats in the voting booth come November looks to be more rhetoric than reality.

The Obama Administration is still upside down in polling on the bill, though it has leveled out some since the height of the debate back in the spring, but you’re not going to see many Democrats running in swing district touting their votes on it.

Charlie Rangel’s Primary Challenger Speaks Out

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DeMint deflects Democrats’ “blame Bush” strategy

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is pushing back against a theme Democrats are using in the mid-term elections by reminding voters that George W. Bush has been out of office for almost two years and Democrats have had control of Congress for almost four years:

It’s been four years since President George W. Bush could be held responsible for the nation’s economy, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said Monday evening.

DeMint dismissed a key part of Democrats’ midterm messaging — warning voters against a return to Bush-era policies — reasoning that Democrats have been controlling U.S. economic policies during the past four years in which they’ve controlled Congress.

“The president [Obama] keeps saying he inherited this, but the fact is that it’s been four years since President Bush had anything to do with economic policy,” DeMint said during an appearance on WVOC radio in South Carolina.

The South Carolina conservative sought to rebut an argument advanced by Democrats from President Obama on down in recent months: Returning Republicans to power in Congress would mean a return to some of the policies voters found less popular during the Bush administration.

“The policies that crashed the economy, that undercut the middle class, that mortgaged our future, do we really want to go back to that, or do we keep moving our country forward?” Obama said Monday at a Democratic fundraiser, part of a sustained effort to hammer away at Bush.

Gallup: GOP has 6 point lead in generic ballot

The latest weekly generic congressional ballot from Gallup shows Republicans maintaining their lead over Democrats as well as holding a 16 point advantage in voter enthusiasm.

According to this chart from FiveThirtyEight, a +6 advantage for Republicans translates into around a 50 seat pick-up, which would mean they’d take control of the House of Representatives.

Here is a look at voter enthusiasm:

2010 House Election

You can click on the state to view recent polling. Candidates listed in italics are incumbents, otherwise the candidate listed is in the incumbent party. The opponent listed has either been nominated or is expected to be nominated, otherwise we’ve listed the primary dates (we’ll add the nominee later).

And finally is where the seat is expected to go on November 2nd.

Keep checking this page for updates.

House of Representatives

With Republicans expected to make gains, anywhere from 25 seats to taking control of the House (40+ seats), we thought we’d put together a list of the more competitive races, so you can get an idea of who is in trouble.

Below is a list of the 92 most competitive House seats. We used Rothenberg Political Report and Real Clear Politics to determine what races should be listed.

We’ll link polling as they come available.

Democrats to candidates: Don’t talk about legislative accomplishments

Democrats coordinating electoral efforts across the country are encourging candidates not to talk about legislative accomplishments:

As Democrats fan out across the country to campaign for reelection this month, many are surprisingly quiet about their hard-won accomplishments — the major bills they have passed under President Obama.

In an effort coordinated with the White House, congressional leaders are urging Democrats to focus less on bragging about what they have done — a landmark healthcare law, a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street regulation and other far-reaching policy changes — and more on efforts to fix the economy and on the perils of Republican control of Congress.

One year after many town hall meetings were upended by raucous anti-government protesters, congressional Democrats are trying to ensure that this summer’s debate sheds a more flattering light on their party as they navigate a bruising midterm election campaign.

To bulk up their record on job creation, Democratic leaders have gone to great lengths — even calling House members back from recess for a special session Tuesday — to pass a $26-billion bill to avert public employee layoffs.

Talking jobs isn’t going to be easy for Democratic candidates either since Congress has passed the stimulus and other “jobs bill” only to see unemployment remain steady.

Focusing on unpopular legislative accomplishments probably isn’t a good idea when the generic ballot looks like this, although an unpopular president doesn’t help either:

2010 Senate Election

In an effort to keep you up to date on the upcoming mid-term elections, we’ve put together a list of the most vulnerable seats in Congress. This page contains the seats up for election in the United States Senate. Click here to view vulnerable or toss-up seats in the House of Representatives.

You can click on the state to view recent polling. Candidates listed in italics are incumbents, otherwise the candidate listed is in the incumbent party. The opponent listed has either been nominated or is expected to be nominated, otherwise we’ve listed the primary dates (we’ll add the nominee later).

And finally is where the seat is expected to go on November 2nd.

Keep checking this page for updates.

United States Senate

Republicans are expected to do well in the House of Representatives (you can view House races below) with current projections showing control of that chamber up for grabs. The Senate has been overlooked, for the most part. Though prospects for a Republican takeover are unlikely, it’s not entirely out of the question.

Democrats currently hold 59 seats in the Senate, including two independents that caucus with them. Republicans hold 41 seats. There are 37 seats up for grabs this year, of those 17 are competitive.

The first table shows the competitive seats, races that pollsters and analysts generally consider to be worth watching or seats that there is an expected switch in party control.

Competitive Senate Races

Why November could be a disaster for Democrats

Over at Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende notes that despite some signs of recent hope(!) for Democrats, the mid-terms in November could bring devastating results:

[W]hat we are currently looking at is a 10-point generic lead for Republicans among the likely electorate. This would represent historic gains for the GOP. This would be larger than the 52-45% edge that gave the Republicans 230 seats in 1994 or the 52%-44% win that gave Democrats 233 seats in 2006. A ten-point win would be more consistent with the 53%-43% edge Democrats had in 2008, which gave them 257 seats - 80 seats more than Republicans presently occupy.

And it’s not clear that things are going to get any better for Democrats in the next 100 days. Political scientists don’t agree on much, but they do generally agree that midterm elections are driven heavily by Presidential job approval . President Obama’s approval and disapproval numbers seemingly hit a plateau around January of this year, at roughly a 50-50 split.

Recently, though, the President’s disapproval numbers have spiked again, and his approvals have fallen. There is now a near-majority of voters disapproving of him, the highest number in the history of the RCP Average. This also means that there are probably around 100 House Democrats running for re-election in districts where the President’s approval rating is upside-down. If this trend continues, it could be potentially catastrophic for Democrats, driving their generic numbers down even further.

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