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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll: Republicans Poised To Take Congress

A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released today found that voters were split over which party they preferred to have a majority in Congress, with 44 percent favoring Democrats and 44 percent Republicans; 12 percent said they weren't sure. But 56 percent of those Americans who said they were most interested in the midterm elections supported Republicans, and 36 percent backed Democrats, "the highest gap all year on that question," according to the poll.

Full poll results here and the WSJ and NBC articles regarding the latest poll can be found here and here.

The enthusiasm gap is what will determine whether Republicans can take the 40 seats in the House that are needed to stop Democrat's one party reign and from the answers to individual questions in the poll, it is clear Americans, by a majority, are not happy with one party pushing their agenda onto the American people.


On Tuesday, Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., lost the primary battle for a 15th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first incumbent to fall in a campaign aimed at Washington. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, the state's only Democratic representative in Congress, did not win enough votes to avoid a primary challenge from a retired schoolteacher who has never run for Congress. Matheson never had to partake in a primary before.

On the GOP front, three-term senator Bob Bennett lost in Utah's GOP convention to a tea party activist. Bennett came under fire for supporting the Wall Street bailout and a bipartisan bill mandating health insurance coverage.

While some would say "look, Republican incumbents are in trouble too!!!", look closely at the part I emphasized.

Rhinos.... Republicans in name only... are the Republicans in trouble too, for supporting the Democratic agenda.

In January, a CNN poll found that "7 in 10 Americans believe that the Democrats' loss of their 60 seat supermajority in the Senate is a positive move for the country."


"The poll provides more evidence of the dwindling appeal of the Democratic party in the wake of last week's special election in Massachusetts," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fewer Americans have a favorable view of the Democrats, and fewer support Democratic control on Capitol Hill."

More importantly, by looking at the poll results themselves (PDF format), we see that after a year of total Democratic control, the plurality believes Democratic one party control is bad for the country.

Another poll, by Pew Research Center, in mid April, shows that 4 out of 5 Americans do not trust Washington. (Via AP)

Majorities in the survey call Washington too big and too powerful, and say it's interfering too much in state and local matters.

Perhaps the most compelling argument against the Democratic one party rule is the poll averages from multiple organizations, via RCP.

NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl- 72 percent disapprove of the job Congress is currently doing with 21 percent approving.

FOX News- 68 percent disapprove of the job Congress is currently doing with 22 percent approving.

Quinnipiac- 71 percent disapprove of the job Congress is currently doing with 20 percent approving.

Associated Press/GfK- 70 percent disapprove of the job Congress is currently doing with 28 percent approving.

Gallup- 73 percent disapprove of the job Congress is currently doing with 23 percent approving.

CBS News/NY Times- 73 percent disapprove of the job Congress is currently doing with 17 percent approving.

A year ago, pundits and handicappers would have said Republicans taking 40 seats in November of 2010 to strip Pelosi of her massive majority and capability of jamming anything she wanted through, was a pipe dream for the GOP... now, handicappers are seeing it as a very real possibility.

By February of 2010, Charlie Cook, a political handicapper, was quoted as saying it was "very hard to come up with a scenario where Democrats don't lose the House" and Stuart Rothenberg, a Washington, D.C., political analyst who publishes the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report and is a columnist for Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, quoted as saying "We're headed for a big Republican election," and that Republicans have a good chance to take the House.

What a difference a year makes, huh?

[Update] The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll is summed up nicely by First Read MSNBC:

While the macro-politics has remained relatively stable, our poll still has some striking -- and rather surprising -- results. First, despite all the attention the oil spill has received, 60% support offshore drilling and 53% believe drilling's economic benefits outweigh its environmental risks. Second, nearly two-thirds of the public (64%) back Arizona's immigration law, as another two-thirds (66%) believe it will lead to the discrimination of Latino immigrants who are in the country legally. Third, a majority of Americans (52%) say they are willing to give up personal freedoms and civil liberties to prevent another terrorist attack, and another majority (51%) approve of using racial or ethnic profiling to combat terrorism. And fourth, and perhaps most surprisingly, General Motors scores better on our feeling thermometer (37%-27% fav/unfav) than the Democratic Party (37%-42%) or the Republican Party (30%-42%) do. Ed Whitacre -- the 21st century version of Lee Iacocca? His TV ads for GM, talking straight to camera, acknowledging past GM transgressions, might provide an interesting lesson for Washington politicians currently on the electoral ropes.

[Update #2] IBD: 63 Democrat-held House seats now in play.

That Republican wave is looking bigger: 63 Democrat-held House seats are now toss-ups, likely GOP pickups or lean Democrat. That’s based on average of estimates from the Cook Political Report, the Rothenberg Political Report, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Real Clear Politics.

When IBD looked at that average about a month ago, it was 48.

By some estimates, the Republican potential target list is far bigger. National Review’s Jim Geraghty recently released his list of 99 Democrat seats in play.

RCP’s Sean Trende said last month he wouldn’t be shocked if Republicans won 100 seats or more, though he stressed a 1994-style result would be more likely. The whole analysis is worth checking out.

In 1994, Republicans won 54 s

eats. This year, they need to pick up a net 41 seats to retake the House.