Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

GOP Takes Lead In Generic Ballot

Posted Nov 27, 2013 at 2:49 PM by Maurice Berger

In a stunning reversal from just a month ago, Republicans now lead the generic congressional ballot according to a just released CNN/ORC International survey.  Last month, the Democrats led by +8%; now, the GOP leads, 49% to 47%.

MSNBC Poll: GOP Brand Badly Damaged

Posted Oct 11, 2013 at 6:05 PM by Maurice Berger

MSNBC writes: "The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level. By a 22-point margin (53 percent to 31 percent), the public blames the Republican Party more for the shutdown than President Barack Obama – a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96. Just 24 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion about the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable view of the Tea Party, which are both at all-time lows in the history of poll."

Democrats Ahead In Generic Congressional Ballet

Posted May 24, 2013 at 7:12 AM by Maurice Berger

While a year-and-a-half away, the 2014 election is not far from the mind of pollsters (and political parties). A new poll by Quinnipiac reports that American voters say they are more likely to vote Democratic than Republican for Congress in 2014 -- 41% to 37%. If this holds true, and Democrats gain seats in congress, it would, according to Quinnipiac, "violate the historical model of the president's party losing ground in the sixth year of a presidency."

GOP Honeymoon Fades

Posted Feb 11, 2011 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Public Policy Polling survey reports that the GOP honeymoon with the American voter has been VERY short-lived. Democrats now once again lead the generic congressional ballot, 45% to 41%, an 11% swing since the November elections. Democrats also hold a seven point lead, 38% to 31%, among independent voters.

Quinnipiac: Republicans Hold Edge On Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Sep 10, 2010 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac poll reports that the Republican Party continues to lead in the Generic Congressional Ballot, 42% to 37% margin. The same poll reports that President Obama continues to receive a negative 44% to 47% approval rating, statistically unchanged from his record-low two weeks ago.

Vote In November May Be More Anti-Democrat Than Pro-GOP

Posted Sep 09, 2010 at 1:27 AM by Maurice Berger

A USA/Today Gallup poll reports that the Republican lead in the congressional generic ballot may have less to do with positive feelings towards the GOP and more with voters rejecting the Democrats. According to the survey, among voters supporting unnamed Republican candidates, "44% say it's more a vote against the Democratic candidate . . . while 48% say it's more a vote for the Republican candidate."

Gallup: GOP With Unprecedented Lead In Generic Ballot

Posted Aug 31, 2010 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger

A just published Gallup tracking poll has alarming news for Democrats running in the mid-term election: the GOP now holds an unprecedented lead in the generic congressional ballot. The survey reports that Republicans lead by 10 points in the generic congressional ballot among registered voters, 51% to 41%. This is the biggest GOP lead so far this year and its largest in Gallup's history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.

PollTrack Average: Republicans Hold Significant Lead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Aug 24, 2010 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

According to PollTrack's latest calculation, the GOP holds a significant lead over Democrats in the Generic Congressional Ballot. As of Sunday evening, that lead is a considerable +7.2%, 47.5 to 40.3%. These numbers represent one of the largest leads held by either party in recent years.

Generic Congressional Ballot: Polls Show Historic GOP Advantage

Posted Aug 18, 2010 at 1:20 AM by Maurice Berger

Rasmussen reports a big lead for the GOP in the generic congressional ballot: "Republican candidates have jumped out to a record-setting 12-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, August 15, 2010. This is the biggest lead the GOP has held in over a decade of Rasmussen Reports surveying." And "the latest Gallup generic ballot test shows the Republicans leading the Democrats by the largest spread in the history of the generic ballot. Republicans lead by seven points -- 50 percent to 43 percent. This also appears to be the first time Republicans have ever hit 50 percent in the history of the Gallup generic ballot."

Cook Report: Where The Midterms Stand

Posted Aug 05, 2010 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest Cook Political Report forecast predicts a 32 to 42 seat net gain for Republicans in the House of Representatives. In order to take over the House, the GOP needs to net 39 seats to reach a bare majority of 218 seats. In the Senate, Cook's forcast bodes better for the Democrats, with a predicted a 5 to 7 seat net gain for Republicans, not enough to take control of the chamber.

Gallup: GOP Now Back In Lead of Generic Ballot

Posted Aug 04, 2010 at 1:31 AM by Maurice Berger

The newest Gallup survey of national political sentiment adds fuel to the speculation that a an earlier survey by the organization indicating a Democratic lead in the generic congressional ballot--and outlier relative to most other polls--may indeed represent a statistical blip. According to Gallup, Republicans have taken back the lead and are now ahead by +5%, 48% to 43%.
Gallup writes: "While the five-percentage-point edge for Republicans is not statistically significant, it represents a return to the prevailing 2010 pattern, seen since mid-March, whereby Republicans were tied or held a slight advantage over Democrats in most Gallup Daily tracking weekly averages. If sustained through Election Day, this competitive positioning for the Republicans among registered voters would point to major seat gains for that party in November given the usual Republican advantage in turnout."

Midterm Election 2010: Are Democrats Gaining Ground?

Posted Aug 03, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

Are Democrats regaining ground in the 2010 mid-term election? One polling organization, Gallup, has reported for tor two straight weeks, that Democrats now maintain a lead in the generic congressional ballot. Does this suggest a trend. Veteran political analyst Charlie Cook suggests that it is too early to tell: "One interpretation of recent results is that the momentum in this critical midterm election has shifted and the Republican wave has subsided. Another interpretation is that it's too soon to tell whether much has changed at all." It is also inportant to add that Gallup's findings are not matched by some other polls: A new Fox News poll, for example, reports a +11% for Republicans in the generic congressional ballot,  47% to 36%. Two weeks ago the Republicans had a +4% advantage.

Republicans Lead Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Jul 13, 2010 at 12:41 AM by Maurice Berger

A Democracy Corps survey is the latest to show Republicans leading Democrats in congressional races by six points, 48% to 42%. The poll--in line with most other gauges of party strength in the upcoming congressional elections--suggests a wide enough margin to be of real concern to Democrats.

Democrats Lead In The Congressional Generic Ballot?

Posted Jun 18, 2010 at 1:01 AM by Maurice Berger

With polls contradicting each other daily, it's hard to know who is really ahead in the congressional generic ballot. Today's survey, out from AP-GFK reports a healthy +7% point lead for the the Democrats, 46%-39%. The same poll reports that the Democrats  they also lead Republicans 47%-42% on "who Americans trust more to guide the economy." But there is also a caveat for Democrats: "There's plenty in the poll to encourage Republicans, and nothing that contradicts many analysts' views that the GOP has a solid shot of capturing majorities of one or both chambers of Congress. The public's anti-Washington mood remains robust, with 55% saying they want a new member of Congress — bad news for Democrats with more incumbents to defend. A low 24% approve of how Congress is doing its job, a hefty 72% still say the nation's economy is in poor condition, and 77% consider huge federal budget deficits a top concern."

GOP Ahead In Congressional Generic Ballot?

Posted Jun 16, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

It looks like yesterday's PPP survey showing the Democrats leading the congressional generic ballot may be an outlier. All other recent polls show a GOP advantage. The latest Gallup Poll, for example, reports that Republicans now hold +5% lead in the generic ballot, 49% to 44%. A new poll of the battleground congressional districts, conducted by NPR by Democratic polling firm GQR and Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, "finds reason for deep concern among Democrats. The poll . . . tested the 60 most competitive Democratic districts and shows an increasingly difficult environment for candidates of the majority party.

"The results are a wake-up call for Democrats whose losses in the House could well exceed 30 seats," GQR notes in its findings. In the Democratic districts, several findings were most disconcerting for the party: just 34% said they would vote to re-elect their representative, whom the questioner named; in a separate question, 56% said they will not vote to re-elect their representative because new people are needed to fix Washington; and when both the Democratic and Republican candidates were named, 47% said they'd vote for the Republican and 42% chose the Democrat. Also tested were the 10 most competitive Republican districts, where 53% say they'll vote for the GOP candidate and 37% for the Democrat."

New Poll Shows Democrats Leading Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Jun 15, 2010 at 1:10 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey reports that Democrats are now leading in the generic congressional ballot. Although the margin is small--43% to 41%--this survey marks the first time since December that PPP shows an advantage for the Democrats.

PPP: Republicans Maintain Lead in Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Apr 23, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Public Policy Polling survey reports that Republicans continue to lead Democrats in the generic congressional ballot, 47% to 42%. The survey analysis finds that "92% of Republicans are committed to supporting their party this fall while just 86% of Democrats are," a modest enthusiasm gap that could hurt Democrats come November.

Cook Report: Republicans Poised To Take Back Many Seats In The House

Posted Apr 21, 2010 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

In a new and complex report, one of the nation's most experienced analysts suggests that the Democrats may be in trouble in this falls mid-term elections. The Cook Political Report now  projects that come November, the Republicans are poised to gain 30 to 40 seats in the House of Representatives. The GOP needs 40 seats to take control. "If the trend over the past  seven months continues," writes Cook, "the GOP will do even better."

Nate Silver: Democrats Could Loose 50 Seats

Posted Apr 13, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger

Nate Silver speculates that Republican advantage now registered by a number of surveys in the generic congressional ballot could result in the Democrats loosing a significant number of House seats this November: "Although analysts debate the precise magnitude of the difference, on average the generic ballot has overestimated the Democrats' performance in the popular vote by 3.4 points since 1992. If the pattern holds, that means that a 2.3-point deficit in generic ballot polls would translate to a 5.7 point deficit in the popular vote -- which works out to a loss of 51 seats, according to our regression model." Still, as PollTrack notes, it's to early to tell if these numbers will hold up. Even Silver hedges his bet: "If Democrats were to lose 50, 60, 70 or even more House seats, it would not totally shock me. Nor would it shock me if they merely lost 15, or 20. But their downside case could be very far down."

Congressional Generic Ballot Tied

Posted Apr 09, 2010 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup Daily tracking for the week ending April 4 finds the two major parties tied at 46% in the congressional voting preferences of registered voters nationally. In the two weeks since Congress passed health care reform on March 21, Democrats have tied or trailed the Republicans, after having at least a slight advantage in the weeks prior. Here is Gallup's chart:

March-April 2010 Trend: Candidate Preference
 in 2010 Congressional Elections, Among Registered Voters

Congressional Generic Ballot Evenly Split

Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 12:56 AM by Maurice Berger

Two new polls suggest that if the November election were held today, the generic vote for congress would be evenly split: Public Policy Polling survey finds a slim Republican advantage, 46% to 43%; the latest WSJ/NBC News poll shows Democrats with a three point lead, 46% to 43%; Gallup reports a similar advantage,  47% to 44%. PollTrack's average shows the Democrats with a tiny +1% lead, 45.3% to 44.3%.

Obama's Decline In Public Approval: How Serious A Problem For Democrats in 2010

Posted Jan 22, 2010 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger

Republican pollster Frank Luntz fires a warning shot to Democrats in his analysis of the president's declining popularity. While his overall opinion of--and some of his ideas about--the seriousness of the dilemma now facing Democrats may be colored by ideology, two of his points about looming red flags are backed up by the results of a number of non-partisan public opinion surveys:


According to Gallup, Obama has suffered the greatest fall in approval of any elected president since the company started ongoing tracking during the Eisenhower administration. Obama came into office with the approval of two out of every three voters (67 percent) but ended his first year with just half the electorate (50 percent) offering a positive evaluation of his performance. Only the unelected Gerald Ford fared worse in the court of public opinion.


While the Republican brand has barely moved since its electoral disasters of 2006 and 2008 and remains unpopular, Democratic popularity has collapsed as well. Most surveys now have the GOP even or even slightly ahead in the generic congressional ballot, and Americans now see the Republicans to be as good if not better in handling the economy.

What Luntz fails to point out, however, is that the Republican brand is suffering as well: A new Public Policy Polling poll reports that only 19% of voters nationally are happy with the direction of the Republican Party, compared to 56% who are unhappy with it. Even more surprising--GOP voters are not particularly happy with the direction of their own party: just 35% support the direction of the party; 38% say they are unhappy.

Midterm Elections: Too Early To Tell

Posted Jan 08, 2010 at 2:20 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack suggests taking a look at this informative New York Times round table on the upcoming midterm elections. While certain political signs point to possibly significant Democratic loses (presidential job approval below 50%, shrinking Democratic partisan identification, a GOP lead on the Congressional Generic ballot), it is still too early to tell. An improved economy--and an uptick in job creation--could well benefit the Democrats (ten months is a relatively long time in the politics of the Internet age). Or continued stagnation may well add seats to the GOP column. Will shrinking Democratic turnout--relative to last year's wave of enthusiasm for candidate Obama--ultimately hurt the party in power or will Democrats, still weary from 8-years of George W. Bush, turn out in sufficient numbers to keep things stable? Click here for the complete NYT round table.

Congressional Generic Ballot: Democrats & Republicans Even

Posted Dec 08, 2009 at 1:37 AM by Maurice Berger

The congressional generic ballot, which asks voters to indicate for which party do they intend to voter for the US House of Representatives next November, now shows the two parties virtually tied. PollTrack's averaging of recent polls on the question shows a tiny +0.4% lead for the Democrats: DEM 44.8% to REP 44.4%.

Congressional Generic Ballot Remains Tied

Posted Jun 19, 2009 at 1:33 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Rasmussen Reports, the Congressional Generic Ballot remains tied: "39% would vote for their district’s Democratic congressional candidate while 39% would choose the Republican. Support for both parties dropped one point from last week. Support for Democratic candidates is just one point above its low point for the past year. Support for the GOP is just two points below its highest level found over the same time period. Men favor the GOP by a five-point margin, while women prefer Democrats by the same margin." In what may be a red flag for the Democrats, voters not affiliated with either party favor the GOP 33% to 23%.