Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Congressional Generic Ballot Nearly Tied

Posted May 07, 2014 at 9:54 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by CNN/ORC International reports that Republicans lead the generic congressional ballot among registered voters by 46% to 45%. PollTrack sees the GOP advantage as considerably greater, however, due to the tendency of Democratic voter participation to drop in non-presidential Federal cycles. In other words, a reading of all registered voters is not the same as that of likely voters.

GOP Ahead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Mar 13, 2014 at 6:38 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by New York Times/CBS News reports that Republicans "are in a stronger position than Democrats for this year's midterm elections, benefiting from the support of self-described independents, even though the party itself is deeply divided and most Americans agree more with Democratic policy positions." Republicans lead 42% to 39% in the poll's generic ballot.

Democrat Leads F-13 Special Election

Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by the Tampa Bay Times in Florida reports that Democrat Alex Sink holds a +7% lead over Republican David Jolly in the FL-13 special congressional election, 42% to 35%.

Americans Down On Their Political Leaders

Posted Feb 04, 2014 at 7:35 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by the Washington Post/ABC News reports that a mere 37% of Americans say they have either a "good amount or a great deal" of confidence in President Obama to make the right decisions for the country's future; 63% do not. Congress doeseven less well in the survey: just 27% percent say they have confidence in congressional Democrats to make the right decisions for the country; 72% do not. For the GOP, it's even worse with just 19% having confidence in Republicans, and 80% not. The poll notes: "For the GOP, the lack of faith in their decision-making includes their own followers. Just 36% of self-identified Republicans say they believe their party's lawmakers will make good decisions. In contrast, a majority of Democrats have confidence in their congressional party."

Congress Is Very Unpopular

Posted Jan 29, 2014 at 8:06 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "the enduring unpopularity of Congress appears to have seeped into the nation's 435 congressional districts, as a record-low percentage of registered voters, 46%, now say the U.S. representative in their own congressional district deserves re-election. Equally historic, the share of voters saying most members of Congress deserve re-election has fallen to 17%, a new nadir."

Sharp Party Divide On Filibuster Rules

Posted Jan 07, 2014 at 9:09 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a poll by National Journal, 59% of Democrats support Democratic Sen. Harry Reid's move "to gut the ability of the minority party to stall presidential nominees. The poll indicated a sharp party divide: Republicans strongly disagreed, with only 34% saying that the decision to permit nominees to be confirmed with only 51 votes was the right decision. 60% thought it was the wrong one."

A 2014 Wave?

Posted Dec 30, 2013 at 12:05 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by Washington Post-ABC News reports that 72% of those who disapprove of President Obama's job performance, say that they would vote for the GOP candidate for U.S. House in their district if the election were held today, while just 14% say they'd vote for the Democrat.    

GOP Leads Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Dec 18, 2013 at 12:33 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new poll by Quinnipiac, Republicans lead in the generic congressional ballot--by 41% to 38%--the first time they have led all year.

Americans Split on Filibuster Rule But Not On Congress

Posted Dec 09, 2013 at 7:57 AM by Maurice Berger

According to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, only 6% Americans approve of the job the US Congress is doing, but are evenly split in their opinion of the so-called “nuclear option,” which effectively ended the rule that allowed filibusters on Presidential nominations, after Republicans used the threat of a filibuster to block multiple nominations: 36% approve of changing the number of votes required to break filibusters to 51, so bills could pass by a simple majority; 37% disapprove. 

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%.

GOP Now Leads Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Nov 19, 2013 at 8:21 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Fox News poll reports that Republicans now lead the generic congressional ballot, 43 to 40%, a startling tun-around from last month's survey in which Democrats led, 45% to 37%.

Large Majority Do Not Trust Government

Posted Nov 07, 2013 at 8:45 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Pew Research reports that only 19% of Americans trust the government in Washington to "do what is right just about always or most of the time," a drop of +7% since January. 


Is The US House In Play For Democrats?

Posted Oct 28, 2013 at 7:25 AM by Maurice Berger

According to an analysis by the National Journal, "the government shutdown and debt crisis has made 14 House seats more winnable for Democrats, according to new independent ratings released Thursday from The Cook Political Report. There are now -- for the first time this cycle -- more Republican seats 'in play' than the 17 Democrats would need to win in order to take the majority in 2014."


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."

Will the Government Shutdown Hurt The GOP?

Posted Oct 02, 2013 at 8:31 AM by Maurice Berger

According a new Quinnipiac poll, the government shutdown has great potential to hurt GOP chances in next year's federal cycle: "Looking at the 2014 Congressional races, voters pick a generic Democrat over a generic Republican candidate 43% to 34%, the widest Democratic margin measured so far."

By Wide Margin, Americans Oppose GOP Actions on Obamacare

Posted Oct 01, 2013 at 10:48 AM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by Quinnipiac reports that American voters, by a wide margn, oppose Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of Obamacare, 72% to 22%.


Congress Gets Low Marks on Fiscal Showdown

Posted Oct 01, 2013 at 9:20 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup observes in a new survey: "As Congress heads into a major fiscal showdown that could result in a government shutdown and the U.S. defaulting on its debt, few Americans approve of the job that top congressional leaders are doing. Americans give relatively low job approval ratings to Republican House Speaker John Boehner (37%), Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (33%), Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (39%), and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (35%)." Here is Gallup's chart:


Net Approval Rating of Nation's Top Four Congressional Leaders, September 2013

Slight Uptick In Congressional Approval

Posted Sep 18, 2013 at 8:53 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup: "Americans remain highly critical of the job Congress is doing, but the 19% who approve is up significantly from 14% last month, and the highest in any month since October 2012. Congress' approval rating has exceeded the current 19% on only a few occasions over the last three years, a span that includes the all-time low ratings of 10% in February 2012 and August 2012"

Vast Majority Opposed To US Strike in Syria

Posted Sep 12, 2013 at 7:52 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a poll by CNN/ORC International "even though eight in 10 Americans believe that the Bashar al-Assad regime gassed its own people, a strong majority doesn't want Congress to pass a resolution authorizing a military strike against the regime. . . . More than seven in 10 say such a strike would not achieve significant goals for the U.S. and a similar amount say it's not in the national interest for the U.S. to get involved in Syria's bloody two-year long civil war."

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."

Americans Access Congressional Leaders

Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:23 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a survey by Gallup, "the top Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House and Senate are a generally unpopular foursome, with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi being the most well-known, but also the least well-liked. 31% of Americans view Pelosi favorably and 48% unfavorably. Her resulting net -17 image score compares with -11 for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, -10 for Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, and -8 for Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell."

Gallup: Congressional Approval In A Slump

Posted Apr 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by Gallup concludes: "As Congress debates legislation on gun control, immigration reform, and the federal budget, it continues to get a vote of no confidence from the American people. Fifteen percent of Americans now approve of the way Congress is handling its job, essentially unchanged from 13% in March and 15% in February. Congress' disapproval rating is 79%." Here is Gallup's chart: 

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Obama Trumps GOP in Public Perception

Posted Mar 05, 2013 at 1:46 PM by Maurice Berger

A new poll by NBC News/Wall Street Journal reports that a meager 29% say they agree "with most" of what Republicans in Congress have proposed. 45% say this about President for Obama and 40% about congressional Democrats. To further the sense that the GOP brand may be in trouble, the survey also found that only 29% of respondents have a favorable view of the Republican Party as opposed to 49% for Obama and 41% for the Democratic Party.

Who Do Americans Blame For Sequester?

Posted Mar 04, 2013 at 9:37 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Harper Polling of likely voters reports that Republicans, by a modest plurality, are seen as most responsible for the sequester, 46% to 40%.

Over 80% Of Americans Disapprove of US Congress

Posted Jan 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Gallup reports that "Americans give Congress a 14% job approval rating as the new year begins, the lowest since September of last year and down from 18% in November and December. The disapproval rating for Congress is 81%." Here is Gallup's chart:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job?

Americans Have Mixed Reaction To Fiscal Cliff Deal

Posted Jan 08, 2013 at 8:46 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a survey by Gallup, "Americans have a decidedly mixed reaction to the "fiscal cliff" agreement reached by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this week, with 43% saying they approve and 45% saying they disapprove. Two-thirds of Democrats approve of the agreement, while almost as many Republicans disapprove. Independents are slightly more likely to disapprove than approve." For more on the poll, click here.

More Back Democrats on Fiscal Cliff

Posted Dec 18, 2012 at 9:43 AM by Maurice Berger

According to new poll by Pew Research that when it comes to the reaching an agreement to avoid the "fiscal cliff," 55% say President Obama is making a credible effort to work with Republicans to reach a deficit deal; just 32% say the same about GOP leaders.

Large Majority Want "Fiscal Cliff" Compromise

Posted Dec 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by NBC News/Wall Street Journal reports that almost two-thirds of Americans say they favor a balanced deal to reduce the deficit -- consisting of both higher tax rates and cuts to key entitlement programs. In a key finding in the survey, 65% believe that congressional leaders should make compromises to deal with the budget deficit. The support for compromise is broad and wide: 68% of Democrats, 66% of Republicans and 56% of political independents support this position.

Approval of US Congress At Historic Low

Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 9:01 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "Americans' view of the job Congress is doing is holding at roughly the same level Gallup has found since April, with 16% approving and 78% disapproving. This is slightly improved from the record low of 10% seen in February and similar to the ratings in mid-2011, but below where it stood at the start of that year." Here is Gallup's chart:

Approve of Congress -- January 2011-July 2012

Americans Growing Weary Of Health Care Legislation

Posted Nov 04, 2011 at 4:22 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the health care reform law's popularity has hit an all-time low with Americans.
Only 34% of those surveyed had a favorable view of the legislation, while 51% held an unfavorable view.

Consumer Confidence Index: Electoral Doom For The President?

Posted Oct 17, 2011 at 1:28 AM by Maurice Berger

In yet another indicator of an icreasingly difficult reelection race for the president in 2012, Mark McKinnon observes that "the average consumer confidence index when a president running for reelection wins is 95. When they lose, it's 76. Today the number is 55." Still, the present-day economic situation is highly unusual in that most Americans continue to blame the bad economy on forces outside of Obama's control.

A just released survey by CBS News poll reports that 69% of Americans believe President Obama has not made real progress in fixing the economy; 25% say he has made real progress. Yet, on the question of who to blame for the shaky economy, most--22%--cited the Bush administration, followed by Wall Street at 16%, Congress at 15% and then the Obama administration at 12%. One in 10 said "all of the above. Will this perception help President Obama in his quest for reelection. PollTrack thinks it's too early to tell. 

Congressional Approval At All Time Low

Posted Sep 26, 2011 at 12:51 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by CBS News/New York Times reports that just 12% of Americans "approve of the job Congress is doing -- the same as the lowest percentage recorded in this poll, reached in October 2008, right before the November elections."

PollTrack Analysis: Tomorrow's Special Election in NY-9

Posted Sep 12, 2011 at 1:30 AM by Maurice Berger

Tomorrow's special election in New York's 9th congressional district, for the seat vacated by Rep. Anthony Weiner who resigned earlier this year, a new Siena poll reports that the Republican candidate, Robert Turner, now holds a six point lead over David Weprin, 50% to 44%. If Turner should win in this vastly Democratic district, Weprin's loss may hold real implications for next year's election cycle. Anecdotal reporting suggests that some Democrats, upset with the Obama administration, may intend to send a message to the president by voting for Turner. The problem for the Democrats: if the heavily Democratic, New York district tips into the Republican column, then far closer swing states, such as Florida, Ohio, and even Pennsylvania--Obama's approval in the three states is somewhere in the mid to high 30s--are undoubtedly in play. The president's approval numbers at this point remain problematic. Two previous incumbents with relatively low numbers in their third year, but who went on to win reelection--Reagan and Clinton--were at this point in their presidency recovering politically, each nearing the 50% mark. Obama's present approval number averages 44%, far below the 48% thought to be a good marker of potential reelection. Stay tuned.


Democrats Now Lead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Aug 17, 2011 at 1:03 AM by Maurice Berger

Has the recent debt ceiling negotations taken its toll on the Republicans in congress? A new Gallup poll suggests that the answer may be yes. The survey reports that Democrats lead Republicans in the 2012 congressional elections among registered voters, 51% to 44%, when asked which party's candidate they would support in their district "if the elections for Congress were being held today."  Gallup observes: "The seven-percentage-point edge for Democratic congressional candidates, nationally, contrasts with ties or Republican leads in most Gallup polls leading up to the 2010 midterm elections. However, the Democratic advantage is not as large as those they enjoyed in the 2006 and 2008 congressional election cycles -- each of which produced a Democratic majority in Congress. The Democrats averaged a 10-point lead over Republicans among registered voters in the year prior to the 2008 elections and an 11-point advantage leading up to the 2006 elections"

Record Low Approval for Congress

Posted Aug 08, 2011 at 12:49 AM by Maurice Berger

A New York Times/CBS News survey suggest that the road ahead for congress will be bumpy: a record 82% of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job -- the most since the question was first asked in 1977.  Overall, 72% disapproved of the way Republicans in Congress handled the negotiations; 66% disapproved of the way Democrats in Congress handled negotiations. As for President Obama handling of the debt ceiling negotiations: 47% disapprove and 46% approve.

USA TODAY/Gallup: Debt Ceiling Law Not Popular

Posted Aug 05, 2011 at 12:42 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, the debt ceiling agreement that President Obama worked out with congress remains unpopular with Americans. The poll reports that 39% of Americans approve of the law, while 46% oppose it. Things gets even more negative when independents are polled: a scant 33% of independent voters approved of the deal; 50% disapprove.

Majority of Americans Oppose Debt Ceiling Deal

Posted Aug 03, 2011 at 1:52 AM by Maurice Berger

A new CNN poll reports that 52% of Americans are opposed to the debt reduction deal negotiated between the President and congress; 44% are in favor.

Americans Rate Obama Higher Than Congress On Budget Negotiations

Posted Aug 02, 2011 at 1:28 AM by Maurice Berger

While there may be no real winners in the just concluded Deficit/Debt Ceiling negotiations, a new Gallup poll reports that "Americans are more likely to approve of the way President Obama is handling the negotiations to raise the federal debt ceiling than they are to approve of the handling of the situation by Speaker of the House John Boehner or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, although opinions about all three are more negative than positive." Here is Gallup's chart: 

Handling federal debt ceiling.gif

Americans Reject GOP Approach To Debt Crisis

Posted Jul 21, 2011 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger

A CBS News poll reports that Americans "are unimpressed with their political leaders' handling of the debt ceiling crisis." But their is a big divide between public perceptions of the GOP vs the President's handling of the crisis. Just 21% approve of Republican congressional resistance to raising taxes; a whopping 71% disapprove. 43%, however, approve of President Obama's handling of the negotiations. Still, 48% said they disapproved. So overall, the public appears to have little patience for the way these negotiations are being handled.

Americans Strongly Disapprove Of House Republicans

Posted May 31, 2011 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

A poll by Democracy Corps reports that disapproval of House Republicans has dramatically increased from 46% in February to 55% in April to a whopping 59% in May.  Disapproval now outnumbers approval two-to-one; intense disapproval by three-to-one.

Are US Voters Angry With Incumbents?

Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:02 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released USA Today/Gallup survey roports that a mere 28% of registered voters believe that most members of Congress deserve re-election; this number ties the low set last year, before the GOP's historic gains. Gallup observes: "The anti-incumbent mood that led to sweeping changes in Congress after the 2010 elections persists, and the accompanying change in House leadership has not fundamentally altered the way Americans view Congress. Thus, incumbents remain vulnerable heading into the 2012 election cycle, though perhaps not quite as vulnerable as in 2010, given that voters are now more inclined to say their own member deserves re-election."

Americans Oppose Raising Debt Ceiling

Posted May 19, 2011 at 12:43 AM by Maurice Berger

A survey by Gallup reports that by a 47% to 19% margin, Americans say they would oppose their member of Congress voting to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, while 34% don't know enough to say. By party affiliation, Republicans oppose raising the debt ceiling by 70% to 8%; independents by 46% to 15%; Democrats favor raising the ceiling by 33% to 26%.

Republican and Democrats Differ On Bin Laden Credit

Posted May 12, 2011 at 12:03 AM by Maurice Berger

A Smart Politics monitoring ans analysis of congressional press releases issued this week the mission to kill Osama bin Laden reports that 60% of House Democrats credited President Obama's role; just 24% of GOP congressmen even mentioned Obama.

Democrats Ahead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted May 11, 2011 at 12:53 AM by Maurice Berger

A CNN/Opinion Research poll reports that registered voters favor a generic Democrat over a Republican in next year's congressional election, 50% to 46%. Women and non-college voters--both of whom supported the GOP in 2010--now favoring Democrats by 10% and 9%, respectively.

GOP Continues To Lead in Congressional Generic Ballot

Posted Apr 05, 2011 at 1:00 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a just released Quinnipiac survvey, Republicans continue to lead Democrats in the generic congressional ballot, now by three points: 40% to 37%.

Americans Remain Divided On Health Care Law

Posted Mar 24, 2011 at 12:37 AM by Maurice Berger

Nearing a full year since passage of the health care bill, a new Gallup poll reports that Americans remain divided about whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, with 46% saying it was a good thing and 44% saying it was a bad thing. 44% also believe the law will make medical care worse, versus 39% who say the law will improve medical care.


Voter Attitudes Towards Government Shutdown

Posted Mar 03, 2011 at 12:53 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Quinnipiac poll reports that American voters are divided in their opinion about a possible federal government shutdown: 46% say it would be a good thing; 44% believe it would be a bad thing. As for blame if the shutdown occurs: voters would blame Republicans more than President Obama, 47% to 38%.

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.

2012 US Senate: Are The Democrats In Trouble?

Posted Feb 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM by Maurice Berger

An analysis by Politico suggests that the GOP may have an inherent advantage in the 2012 US Senate races, and may well be poised to take over from the Democrats: "Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg will challenge Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2012, giving Republicans their first-choice candidate for the race and putting yet another incumbent in serious jeopardy. . . .  [An] Opinion Diagnostics survey of 400 likely Montana voters showed 49 percent backing Rehberg compared to 43 percent for Tester and 8 percent undecided . . . Rehberg’s announcement will mean Republicans have high-profile, formally announced challengers in four states where Democrats are up for reelection: Montana, Missouri (former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman), Nebraska (state Attorney General Jon Bruning) and Virginia (former Sen. George Allen). That’s not to mention the open Senate seat in North Dakota, where Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad’s retirement gives Republicans a strong pickup opportunity, and Florida, where several solid candidates are circling the race against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. Some of these candidates are facing competitive primaries, but the big picture is this: Senate Republicans have already put a sizable list of Democratic seats in play and they only need to net four to hit the 51-seat mark."

Voters Want Political Compromise

Posted Jan 17, 2011 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A new McClatchy-Marist Poll reports that 71% of registered voters want to political leaders to compromise in order to get things done; 23% believe Republicans should stand firm on their positions, even if it results in a stalemate between them and Democrats. In terms of voter expectations, 52% believe Republicans will stand firm on their positions. As pollster Lee Miringoff observes: "Voters have taken notice of recent legislative successes. But, there is still a wide gap between what voters want from our nation's political leaders and what they think is likely to occur."

GOP Advantage: States Slated To Gain or Loose US House Seats

Posted Dec 21, 2010 at 7:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Based on the 2010 census, which states are now slated to gain or loose U.S. House seats (and well as electoral votes, one per house seat lost). Next week, the Census Bureau will release its official state population totals and the allotment of House seats for the next decade. The Waal Street Journal reports that  "Republicans tightened their grip on the U.S. House with the release of new population figures that show GOP-leaning states in the South and Southwest will add congressional seats in the next election. . . . The big winner in 2012 and beyond is Texas, which will add four seats. Ohio and New York will each lose two seats. Elsewhere in the South, Florida will add two seats, and Georgia will add one . . .
The population count "confirmed long-held assumptions that the balance of power in the country is tilting away from Democratic strongholds in the Northeast and Midwest to warmer states in the Sunbelt, where Republicans hold sway."

Congressional Approval At Historic Low

Posted Dec 20, 2010 at 1:03 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup poll reports that just 13% of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job. 83% disapprove -- the lowest level of support ever measured in the history of the survey.

Obama's Core Supporters Oppose Tax Compromise

Posted Dec 08, 2010 at 12:50 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a just released SurveyUSA poll, voters who contributed to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign are overmelingly opposed to his deal with Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax breaks for those making over $250,000 a year. 74% now say they do not support the deal. 51% say they are less likely to contribute to Obama's reelection campaign in 2012, and 57% say it makes them less likely to support congressional Democrats who support this deal in 2012.

Redistricting 2012: A Look Ahead

Posted Nov 18, 2010 at 1:52 AM by Maurice Berger

Wondering how the congressional map will look in 2012 after the restricting of congressional districts that will begin next year? In his preview of the upcoming reapportionment of congressional districts, Sean Trende notes that the just concluded midterms, which saw a number of state houses turn towards the Republican, may indeed bode poorly for the Democrats: "As bad as 2010 was for House Democrats, 2012 could be even worse. Republicans don't have a lot of exposure, since most of their gains were in red territory. More importantly, Republicans will control more seats in redistricting than they have since the states began regular decennial redistricting in 1972."

Using census estimates of where population is growing and falling within states, Trende "offers his thoughts on how redistricting will most likely shape things in 2012." His analysis is fascinating and insightful--a window onto the upcoming reconfiguration of congressional districts. For more, click here. 


Congressional Approval Down to 17%

Posted Nov 16, 2010 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup Poll reports that Congressional has dropped to 17%, down slightly from 21% before the midterm elections.

Health Care Reform Doomed Democrats in Midterm Election

Posted Nov 15, 2010 at 1:14 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a study in The New Republic, health care reform doomed the Democratic Party in the midterm elections. The study found that of the 1/6th of voters who identified health care as their most important issue voted Republican over Democrat, 59% to 35%. The study continues: "Putting all these data together, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the health-reform bill had an independent impact on Democrats in the midterm election, reducing their support below the level to which the economy alone would have depressed it. A back-of-the envelope calculation suggests that health care voters contributed about 10 percent points to the Republicans' share of the vote and only 6 percent to Democrats -- a gap of 4 percentage points."


Voters Access Lame Duck Seesion of Congress

Posted Nov 12, 2010 at 2:12 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, 'Most voters think Congress should wait until the new members take office in January before tackling any major new legislation, but even more expect Democrats to try to pass major legislation anyway in the upcoming lame-duck session." The survey finds that 36% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the current Congress should consider major new legislation during the lame-duck session scheduled to begin on Monday. . . .  Fifty-six percent (56%) say Congress should wait until the newly elected members take office after the first of the year. . . .  76% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that House Democrats will try to pass major legislation before the newly elected members are sworn in. That includes 49% who say it is Very Likely. Just 18% think Democrats are unlikely to attempt to pass major legislation between now and the arrival of the new Congress"

Election 2010: GOP Gains In State Legislatures Spell Trouble From Democrats

Posted Nov 09, 2010 at 2:07 AM by Maurice Berger

This Tuesday, the GOP score another, most unreported victory: at the state legislative level, the party elected a net gain of at least 680 seats to set a modern record.Come 2011, this may prove quite costly for the Democrats. Why? Because once census figures are crunched and adjusted it will be the responsibility of state legislatures--with input from Governors, another problem for Democrats can claim only 20 state houses, a net loss of at least 7 seats--to reapportion that state's congressional districts. With the power to shape--and manipulate districts--the GOP will have the edge in sculpting districts favorable to their party.

Gallup: GOP With Big Lead In Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Oct 12, 2010 at 1:34 AM by Maurice Berger

The latest Gallup tracking poll for the generic congressional ballot reports a big GOP advantage: " Republicans maintain a substantial advantage over Democrats among likely voters in Gallup's generic ballot for Congress -- in both lower- and higher-turnout scenarios -- fueled in part by the GOP's strong showing among independents . . . Among voters Gallup estimates to be most likely to vote at this point under either a higher- or lower-turnout scenario, Republicans maintain substantial double-digit advantages. In Gallup's higher-turnout scenario, Republicans lead 53% to 41%. In Gallup's lower-turnout scenario, Republicans lead 56% to 39%" Gallup's reported GOP advantage, if it holds on Election Day, would most probably result in historic loses for the Democrats. Stay tuned. 

Generic Congressional Ballot: Who's Ahead And By How Much

Posted Oct 06, 2010 at 12:59 AM by Maurice Berger

As per Real Clear Politics: "Probably the biggest polling news of the day was the Gallup generic ballot poll that showed Republicans leading Democrats 56 percent to 38 percent.  That 18-point lead is predicated upon a "low turnout" scenario, and would represent historic highs for the Republican Party -- it would probably represent the most seats won by either party since the early 70s.

Gallup also produced a model anticipating slightly higher turnout.  Under this model, the Republicans led by 13 points, which is still an historic result in the Gallup model.  Among registered voters, Republicans led by 3 points.

Rasmussen Reports, by contrast, saw the race tightening significantly, with Republicans leading Democrats by only three points, 45 percent to 42 percent.  This represented the closest ballot test in roughly a year.  Of course, the big difference between the two polls is the number of undecideds; it may well be that Democrats are truly stuck at around 40 percent, and undecideds are leaning heavily GOP."


Posted Sep 28, 2010 at 3:30 PM by Maurice Berger

Until Election Day, PollTrack will place special emphasis on tracking the 2010 midterm election. Posts to the Presidential blog will be sporadic in order to concentrate on continual polling analysis of hundreds of gubernatorial, U. S. Senate and U.S. House races in our Writing on the Wall blog (on the top left of our homepage).

Generic Congressional Ballot: Another Poll Shows GOP Advantage

Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 1:54 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup tracking poll reports that the GOP leads the generic congressional ballot among registered voters by +5%, 48% to 43%. One finding that may be particularly troubling to Democrats, though with a possible hopeful sign: "Republicans show substantially more enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in this year's midterm elections, as they have all year. The gap was slightly smaller in the most recent week -- 18 points, versus at least 23 points in the prior three weeks -- owing to increased enthusiasm among Democrats."

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."

Cook Report: GOP Could Take The U.S. Senate

Posted Sep 08, 2010 at 1:24 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Charlie Cook, in an analysis that PollTrack believes is valid, suggests that Republicans could also take control of the U.S. Senate in the upcoming midterm elections: "For much of this year, it seemed a near mathematical impossibility that Republicans could score the 10-seat net gain needed to flip the Senate, which is split between 59 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with Democrats and largely vote with the party) and 41 Republicans. As recently as six weeks ago, I wrote in a CongressDailyAM column that a GOP win was 'certainly possible' but 'still fairly unlikely.' Although the 'fairly unlikely' part is still valid, the possibility of a GOP takeover is growing."

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.

Wide Enthusiasm Gap Between Parties

Posted Jul 09, 2010 at 1:29 AM by Maurice Berger

In another bit of troubling news for the Democrats, a new Pew Research poll reports that Republicans "are much more engaged in the coming election and more inclined to say they are certain to vote than are Democrats. This could translate into a sizable turnout advantage for the GOP in November that could transform an even race among registered voters into a solid victory for the Republicans. . . . Fully 56% of Republican voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than in previous elections -- the highest percentage of GOP voters expressing increased enthusiasm about voting in midterms dating back to 1994." That year, of course, marked enormous gains by Republican candidates for Congress.

Charlie Cook On Midterms: There Is A Wave Out There

Posted Jul 07, 2010 at 12:37 AM by Maurice Berger

Charlie Cook's latest reading on election 2010 sets an ominous tone for Democrats: "There is a wave out there, and for Democrats, the House is, at best, teetering on the edge . . . To be sure, things could change in the four months between now and November 2. The GOP's failure to get Republicans to vote in the May 18 special election in Pennsylvania's 12th District underscores that the party can't just sit back and await spontaneous combustion in terms of turnout. Still, the potential is here for a result that is proportional to some of the bigger postwar midterm wave elections. These kinds of waves are often ragged; almost always some candidates who looked dead somehow survive and others who were deemed safe get sucked down in the undertow. That's the nature of these beasts. But the recent numbers confirm that trends first spotted late last summer have fully developed into at least a Category 3 or 4 hurricane."

Gallup: Public Disapproval Of Congress At Near Low

Posted Jun 29, 2010 at 12:46 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup a mere 20% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, a near record low. Gallup's analysis does not bode well for the party now in power: "This year's low approval ratings for Congress are a potentially ominous sign for President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress. Gallup has found greater party seat change in Congress in midterm elections when Congress has had low approval ratings. Specifically, in the five midterm elections in which Congress' approval ratings at the time of the election were below 40%, there was an average net change in seats of 29 from the president's party to the opposition."

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.

Democrats In Trouble In 2010 Mideterms?

Posted Jun 02, 2010 at 1:04 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey suggests serious trouble ahead for Democrats in this November's midterm elections: The latest Gallup poll reports that Republicans now lead Democrats in the generic congressional ballot by six points, 49% to 43%. Gallup goes on to note that this is the largest GOP lead in the survey since it began in 1950.

Republicans Could Have Serious Problem Come November

Posted May 25, 2010 at 1:25 AM by Maurice Berger

Before Republicans start celebrating what some predict may be a massive victory in November, they may want to take notice of one sobering phenomenon: In Colorado and Arizona, Public Policy Polling reports that Hispanic voters are now swinging dramatically towards Democrats in the wake of Arizona's new immigration law. PPP continues: "Hispanics in the Mountain West are leaning much more strongly toward the Democrats since the Arizona law was passed. The big question then becomes whether there are white voters who are going to go Republican this fall who wouldn't have if that bill hadn't been passed. We don't see any evidence of that happening yet." This trend could easily shift into other states with significant Hispanic populations, effecting very close race in states as disparate as California, Ohio, and Florida, not to mention Colorado and Arizona. Stay tuned. This could be the sleeper phenomenon of the 2010 cycle.

Democratic Turnout Low In Tuesday's Primary Elections

Posted May 06, 2010 at 1:47 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may be an ominous sign for Democratic prospects in this November's midterm elections, turnout among Democratic voters "dropped precipitously in 3 statewide primaries on Tuesday, giving the party more evidence that their voters lack enthusiasm ahead of midterm elections. In primaries in NC, IN and OH, Dems turned out at far lower rates than they have in previous comparable elections . . . By contrast, GOP turnout was up almost across the board." As PollTrack reported on Wednesday, the lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters--coupled with a fired-up Republican base--could spell trouble for the Democratic Party this fall.

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."

Voters Rate Economy As Top Issue

Posted Apr 15, 2010 at 1:48 AM by Maurice Berger

In a not unsurprising result, a new Gallup survey reports that 57% of registered voters expect the issue of the economy to be extremely important to their vote for Congress this year, making it the top issue in the 2010 elections. Other problems, of lesser importance:  health care, unemployment, and the federal budget deficit. The least important of the seven issues ranked in the poll: the environment

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

Americans Very Dissatisfied With Congress

Posted Apr 08, 2010 at 12:52 AM by Maurice Berger

A just released Gallup Poll reports that a record-low number of American voters--28%--say most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected. The previous low was 29% in October 1992: "The same poll finds 49% of voters, a near-record low, saying their own member of Congress deserves to be re-elected. This marks only the second time since Gallup began asking this question in 1992 that the figure has dipped below 50%, and the first on the doorstep of a midterm election."

Americans Loosing Faith With Politicians

Posted Apr 07, 2010 at 12:23 AM by Maurice Berger

A USA Today/Gallup poll reports that Americans are loosing faith with politicians--attitudes "are reminiscent of those in 1994 and 2006, when control of Congress switched from one party to the other." 28% pf respondents say most members of Congress deserve re-election , a record low. Both major parties have exceptionally low favorability ratings: 41% for Democrats and 42% for Republicans. The President is not exempt from this negativity: 26% saying he deserves "a great deal" of blame for the nation's economic troubles, double the percentage in July.

Is Congress In Trouble With Voters?

Posted Apr 06, 2010 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Marist Poll, 45% of registered voters nationwide remain unsatisfied with their elected officials in the U.S. Congress and would vote against them in November; 41% would vote for the incumbent, and 14% are unsure.

Does Pessimism About Economy Spell Trouble For Democrats In November?

Posted Mar 24, 2010 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

While the passage of heath care legislation has buoyed the Democratic Party, the poor state of the economy may continue to spell trouble for Democrats come November. A new Bloomberg Poll reports that Americans by a significant margin believe the economy has worsened during the past year: "A sense of despair pervades perceptions of the economy and nation. Barely one-in-three Americans say the country is on the right track. Fewer than one in 10 say they believe the economy will be strong again within a year. Just 4 percent of Americans who cut back on spending during the recession now say they are confident enough to open their wallets, according to the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points."

Poor economic outlook is often the most important factor in determining the political health of the party in power and of incumbents in general. Will the economy improve enough to help the Democrats in the mid-term election or will voters turn to an alternative. Conversely, does the relatively depressed standing of the Republican Party--a recent poll shows a significant decline in GOP support among independent voters--help the Democrats hold on to both houses.

Public Does Not Understand Provisions Of Healthcare Bill

Posted Mar 23, 2010 at 12:59 AM by Maurice Berger

A new  Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, suggests that Americans do not fully understand the provisions and details of the health care legislation just passed by congress. For example: "Only 15% of Americans, for instance, know that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said the legislation will decrease the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years. And 55% believe the CBO has said the legislation will increase the deficit over that period." 

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%.

Young Republicans More Enthusiastic About Midterm Elections

Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 12:13 AM by Maurice Berger

In an ominous sign for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, A Harvard Institute of Politics survey of 18 to 29 year-old voters, reports that Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting and participating Democrats, with 41% of Republicans planning on voting, compared to 35% of Democrats and 13% of Independents.

Americans Remain More Confident in Obama Than Congress on Healthcare

Posted Mar 09, 2010 at 1:07 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Gallup survey reveals that "Americans remain more confident in the healthcare reform recommendations of President Obama (49%) than in the recommendations of the Democratic (37%) or Republican (32%) leaders in Congress. But these confidence levels are lower than those measured in June, suggesting that the ongoing healthcare reform debate has taken a toll on the credibility of the politicians involved."

Obama Falling Behind in Purple States

Posted Mar 02, 2010 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

In a series sign of weakness for the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, Tom Jensen reports that President Obama at present "has a negative approval rating in every state he flipped from the Bush column to his in 2008. In each of those places his level of support is now in the 44-46% range. It's probably a good thing he doesn't have to run for reelection this year. He can only hope things start turning around for him once the midterms are in the rear view mirror, much as they did for Bill Clinton."

American Skeptical About Healthcare Plan, Oppose Reconciliation

Posted Feb 25, 2010 at 1:22 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "Americans are skeptical that lawmakers will agree on a new healthcare bill at Thursday's bipartisan healthcare summit in Washington, D.C. If an agreement is not reached, Americans by a 49% to 42% margin oppose rather than favor Congress passing a healthcare bill similar to the one proposed by President Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate. By a larger 52% to 39% margin, Americans also oppose the Democrats in the Senate using a reconciliation procedure to avoid a possible Republican filibuster and pass a bill by a simple majority vote."

Public Unaware Of Health Care Details

Posted Feb 05, 2010 at 5:47 AM by Maurice Berger

The public often forms opinion based on the overall contours of an issue--rather than inside-the beltway details--an observation that seems particularly true of its reaction to health care reform. A Pew Research poll reveals that just 32% of Americans know the health care reform bill received no support from Republican Senators; just 26% know that 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster in the Senate. And, as other polls have confirmed, even fewer understand the basic provisions of a bill that is both cumbersome and has remained mostly unexplained to the American public.

GOP Leads Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Jan 28, 2010 at 2:32 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new NPR poll, the GOP leads Democrats in the generic congressional ballot, 44% to 39%--a +5% advantage. 
In 2008, the Democratic advantage in the survey was +8%.
Among the most motivated voters, the GOP lead is even greater: "Most significantly, the generic ballot improves to blowout levels among the voters most interested in the elections.   Among the 70% of likely voters who rate their interest in the upcoming November elections as an 8-10 on a scale of 1-10 (where one means not interested/ten means very interested), the GOP lead on the generic ballot grows to 48%-38%.  Among 10s, it is a 50%-36% margin."

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.

Health Care Reform NOT Popular

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

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll confirms what last night's returns from Massachusetts infer: health care reform is not popular. In the survey, only 33% of Americans say President Obama's reform effort is a good idea; 46% consider it a mistake.

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.

Americans Evenly Divided On Health Care Reform

Posted Nov 18, 2009 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans are evenly and "deeply" divided" on the heath care reform proposals before Congress: 48% support the proposed changes while 49% are opposed. One positive sign for supporters of the legislation: "The Democrats have made some progress among at least one key group. Support among senior citizens, while still broadly negative, is up 13 points since September to 44%. Seniors have also tilted back toward Obama when matched head to head with congressional Republicans on dealing with health-care reform, helping the president to a 13-point advantage over the GOP on this issue."

Democrats In Trouble In 2010?

Posted Nov 17, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Veteran analyst Stu Rothenberg, analyzing the rest of the 2009 off-year races, argues that the Democratic brand may be in trouble in the 2010 midterm elections: "Now it will be the GOP who can push the “culture of corruption” argument that Democrats used so successfully in the recent past. Now Republicans will complain about high unemployment numbers, about causalities in Afghanistan and the administration’s foreign policy and about the government’s inability to get H1N1 flu shots to the American public. Moreover, as we are already seeing with health care reform, the internal contradictions of the Democratic Party are becoming apparent. For the past year, the national media have been focused on internal Republican divisions. But now, a fracturing in the Democratic ranks is likely to give plenty of fodder for journalists, columnists and talking heads. This is likely to further erode Democratic poll numbers."

Rothenberg also points out that such shifts in voter sentiment, away from the party principally in power, are fairly common in midterm cycles: "There is nothing unnatural about this, of course. It’s the inevitable result of a party gaining more than 50 seats over the past four years, including in districts that are conservative and lean Republican. And it always happens when one party controls both chambers of Congress and the White House."

Americans Divided On Health Care

Posted Nov 13, 2009 at 1:12 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, Americans are uncertain about the health care proposals winding their way through congress: "Americans are evenly split on the potential impact of new health care legislation, should it ultimately be passed into law. Forty-one percent say a new health care bill would make the U.S. health care system better in the long run, while 40% say it would make things worse . . . Americans are more negative about the impact of a new health care bill on their personal situations than they are about its impact on the nation as a whole. By a 10-point margin, Americans are more likely to say a new bill would make their personal health care situations worse (36%), rather than better (26%). Almost 4 out of 10 say a bill would make no difference, or have no opinion on the topic."

Support For "Public Option" Remains High

Posted Oct 20, 2009 at 1:57 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, "support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public. . . On the issue that has been perhaps the most pronounced flash point in the national debate, 57 percent of all Americans now favor a public insurance option, while 40 percent oppose it. Support has risen since mid-August, when a bare majority, 52 percent, said they favored it. . . .If a public plan were run by the states and available only to those who lack affordable private options, support for it jumps to 76 percent. Under those circumstances, even a majority of Republicans, 56 percent, would be in favor of it, about double their level of support without such a limitation."

Rasmussen: Voters Split on Health Care Plan

Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger

While somewhat a odds with recent polling from other organizations, Rasmussen reports that "44% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That's little changed from a week ago.The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% are opposed to the plan. The numbers have been remarkably stable throughout the debate"Rasmussen continues: "Last week, support for the plan rose to 46%, up five points from a week earlier. With the exception of “bounces” following a couple of nationally televised presidential appearances, it was the first time support for the congressional health care effort had risen."


Mixed Bag In Public's Attitude About Health Care Reform

Posted Oct 08, 2009 at 3:01 AM by Maurice Berger

Last weeks polling from Rasmussen Reports on the subject of health care reform suggests a mixed bag for proponents and opponents of the plan now before congress: "Sometimes, as the old saying goes, the devil's in the details.Most U.S. voters (54%) believe that major changes are needed in the U.S. health care system. Sixty-one percent (61%) say it's important for Congress to pass health care legislation this year. The problem is that just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats." For more of Rasmussen's analysis, click here. 

Public Approval Of Congress Drops to 21%

Posted Oct 07, 2009 at 1:38 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "Americans' approval of Congress is at 21% this month, down from last month’s 31% and from the recent high of 39% in March. Most of this change is due to a steep 18-point decline in approval among Democrats, from 54% in September to 36% now. At 9%, Republicans’ approval is down just slightly." Here is Gallup's month by month chart:


Congressional Approval -- 2009 Trend

US Voters Want Congress To Post Bills Online

Posted Oct 02, 2009 at 1:38 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, "83% of U.S. voters say legislation should be posted online in final form and available for everyone to read before Congress votes on it. The only exception would be for extreme emergencies. . . the national telephone survey finds only 6% of voters disagree with this approach while 10% are not sure."

Both Parties In Congress Are Near Record Low Appoval

Posted Sep 22, 2009 at 1:03 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new New USA Today/Gallup survey, the approval ratings of the two major parties in Congress are at near record lows. The Democrats fare slightly better than the Republicans, in line with the pattern in recent years. 36% of Americans approve of how the Democrats in Congress are doing their job; 27% approve of the Republicans. However, both parties' ratings are down significantly from earlier this year, returning them to the record-low levels seen in 2007 and 2008. Here is Gallup's chart:



Americans Somewhat Skeptical About Healthcare Proposals

Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 1:19 AM by Maurice Berger

To a considerable degree, Americans remain uncertain about the scope and cost of health care proposals now being considered by Congress, according to a new Gallup poll: "Americans are skeptical that President Obama's health care plan will be able to accomplish all he intends -- to expand coverage to nearly all Americans without raising taxes on middle-class Americans or affecting the quality of care. 38% believe his plan will achieve all of these goals, while 60% do not think it will. Republicans are nearly united in thinking the plan will not accomplish these stated goals (90% believe it will not), and most independents (64%) agree. Two in three Democrats (66%), on the other hand, express optimism that the plan will achieve these aims . . . Less than a majority [of all polled, 43%] say they are confident that Obama's plan can be paid for mostly through cost savings in Medicare and other parts of the healthcare system, as Obama has proposed. 11% are very confident of this."

Significantly, the survey concludes that "Although the public stops short of saying reform will make these things worse -- given that about one in five expect the reforms not to make a difference either way -- in three of the four areas, more predict health care legislation would make the situation worse rather than better. These are key considerations given that support for a healthcare plan -- currently 50%, including "soft" support -- could drop considerably if Americans were convinced that reform would have a harmful effect on the middle class through higher taxes, higher costs for health care, or reduced coverage or quality of care."

Americans Perceive The GOP AS Obstructionist

Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

Analyzing a just released national poll from ABC News/Washington Post, CQ Politics spots an ominous sign for the GOP: Americans perceive the party as obstructionist. CQ writes: "Republicans are viewed as obstructionists who are not making a good faith effort to cooperate with Democrats in the health care debate, according to [the survey]. The same poll found that half the respondents thought Democrats were making an honest effort to cooperate with Republicans on health care. Sixty-two percent of the respondents said the Republicans were not negotiating in good faith. But if there is any political blow back from this, it's hard to find. People were evenly divided on whether they would vote for (22 percent) or against (23 percent) a congressional candidate who supports the Democrats' health overhaul plan, with 54 percent saying it would make no difference to them. Forty-nine percent said they think the two parties are equally to blame for the tone of the debate."

Bellwether Colorado: Are The Democrats In Trouble?

Posted Sep 10, 2009 at 12:19 AM by Maurice Berger

The Washington Post wonders whether Colorado, a new and potent bellwether of national partisan support, is slipping away from the Democrats: "In 2008, Colorado became a symbol of the changing politics in a region once firmly in Republican hands -- and also of the grass-roots power and energy fueling Barack Obama's candidacy. Today, the state embodies the uneasiness spreading throughout Democratic ranks as Obama struggles with major challenges and the 2010 midterm elections approach."

Colorado has been one of the Democratic Party's major success stories. Between 1968 and 2004, Republican presidential candidates carried the state in all but one election. Last year, Obama crushed John McCain in Colorado, part of a broader shift in the balance of political power in the Rocky Mountain West. Obama's victory and earlier Democratic wins here have transformed the state. Early in the decade, Republicans controlled virtually everything -- the governor's office, almost all other statewide offices, the congressional delegation and both houses of the Colorado legislature. Today, Democrats are in control of all of those. A year ago, Denver enthusiastically hosted the Democratic National Convention, which culminated with Obama's acceptance speech before more than 80,000 people at the Denver Broncos' football stadium. Legions of volunteers, young and old, fanned out across the state throughout the fall to rally the vote for Obama's campaign."

"Today, the energy that powered Obama to victory has begun to dissipate. Some of his supporters remain on the sidelines; others are, if not disillusioned, questioning what has happened to his presidency. As they look toward 2010, Democrats are nervous. Gov. Bill Ritter, appointed Sen. Michael F. Bennet and at least one Democratic member of the House will probably face difficult election campaigns next year."

Health Care Reform Big Issue in 2010?

Posted Sep 09, 2009 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "the American people are no less divided on healthcare reform today than they were a month ago. [The survey] finds 39% of Americans saying they would direct their member of Congress to vote against a healthcare reform bill this fall while 37% want their member to vote in favor. . . .[The poll] suggests the issue could be politically potent in 2010. Sixty-four percent of Americans say their representative's position on healthcare reform will be a major factor in their vote in the next congressional election; just over a third say it will be no more than a minor factor." Here is Gallup's chart:





Americans Fear Lower Quality Health Care

Posted Sep 07, 2009 at 1:23 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a Rasmussen Reports poll, nearly half of likely voters think the health care overhaul proposed by President Obama and backed by Democrats in Congress will become law this year. Yet, about half of likely voters don't like the plan. Around 50% said that they believed the overhaul would lower the quality of health care, and in answer to a separate question 52% said it would make health costs rise.

Unemployment Hits 28.9% in Detroit

Posted Sep 03, 2009 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

With an unemployment rate now hovering around 30%--28.9% to be exact--the city of Detroit serves as a national symbol of the continued effects of the Great Recession and a lingering problem for the Obama administration and Congress. As ABC News reports: "The unemployment rate in the city of Detroit rose to 28.9 percent in July, the highest rate of unemployment since Michigan started keeping modern numbers." Will unemployment rates that remain stagnant or even continue to climb put an damper on the public's perceptions about economic recovery? Stay tuned. 

By A Small Plurality, Americans Support Taxing The Rich To Pay For Healthcare

Posted Jul 20, 2009 at 2:08 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen Reports survey, Americans by a small margin--48% to 44%--favor taxing wealthier Americans To pay for health care reform. But "just 35% of U.S. voters now support the creation of a government health insurance company to compete with private health insurers . . . 50% of voters oppose setting up a government health insurance company as President Obama and congressional Democrats are now proposing in their health care reform plan"

Congressional Approval Rating Drops To 33%

Posted Jul 02, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger

Public perceptions about the US Congress have dropped even further, according to Gallup: "Americans' approval of the job Congress is doing has slipped to 33% this month, down from the recent high of 39% in March, but still significantly higher than job approval ratings of Congress over the last several years. Although there was no change in the control of either the House of Representatives or the Senate as a result of the 2008 elections, Americans' approval of Congress shot up concurrently with the inauguration of the new president in January -- going from 19% in early January to 31% in February to 39% in March. Congress' approval rating then dropped slightly in April and May, and this month is down further, as noted. . . . The slip in job approval to 33% this month appears to have been caused in part by a significant drop in approval among Democrats, whose 50% rating this month is the lowest since February. Republicans' rating is at 17% while independents' rating is at 31%, neither of which is sharply different from where each has been in the previous four months."

Wide Public Support For Government-Run Health Insurance Program

Posted Jun 23, 2009 at 12:52 AM by Maurice Berger

There is wide support for government run health insurance, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll: "Americans overwhelmingly support substantial changes to the health care system and are strongly behind one of the most contentious proposals Congress is considering, a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers . . . The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector . . . The national telephone survey, which was conducted from June 12 to 16, found that 72 percent of those questioned supported a government-administered insurance plan — something like Medicare for those under 65 — that would compete for customers with private insurers. Twenty percent said they were opposed.

Majority Of Americans Believe GOP In Congress Out Of Touch

Posted May 07, 2009 at 1:17 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Rasmussen survey, "just 21% of GOP voters believe Republicans in Congress have done a good job representing their own party’s values, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. 69% say congressional Republicans have lost touch with GOP voters throughout the nation. These findings are virtually unchanged from a survey just afer Election Day. Among all voters, 73% say Republicans in Congress have lost touch with the GOP base. 72% of Republicans say it is more important for the GOP to stand for what it believes in than for the party to work with President Obama. 22% want their party to work with the President more."

Obama's 2008 Victory May Have Been Narrower Than It Seems

Posted Mar 30, 2009 at 2:03 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new analysis, in which the 2008 presidential election was re-run using a district-based system of awarding electoral votes, used only in two states (ME and NE), instead of the winner-take-all Barack Obama still would have defeated John McCain, though the Electoral College tally would have been closer than the actual 365-173 margin of victory.

The CQ Politics analysis concludes that Obama would have beaten McCain 301-237 "using a district-based system, under which a candidate receives two electoral votes for winning a state and one electoral vote for every congressional district he or she wins. Only Maine and Nebraska allocate electoral votes in this fashion. The analysis found that Obama won 242 districts and McCain won 193 districts. Obama also posted another 59 electoral votes by carrying 28 states and the District of Columbia, which is entitled to three electoral votes under the 23rd Amendment. McCain would have received another 44 electoral votes as a result of winning 22 states." PollTrack observes that such results suggest the country remains more politically divided than the initial 2008 results suggest, divisions that now appear to be playing out in the polling that gauges political sentiment in the upcoming congressional elections of 2010. Such surveys now indicate an electorate evenly divided between support for Democrtic and Republican congressional candidates.

Democratic Support Up A Tick On Generic Congressional Ballot

Posted Mar 18, 2009 at 1:11 AM by Maurice Berger

In a bit of bright news for the Obama administrations and congressional Democrats, the party has "managed to move slightly further ahead this week. . . . The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 42% of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 38% said they would choose the Republican. In recent weeks, the Democratic advantage on the Generic Ballot has ranged from one-to-four points. Democrats enjoy a larger advantage when it comes to partisan identification among the electorate."

Approval For Congress Hits Four Year High

Posted Mar 16, 2009 at 1:37 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup Poll, "Americans' job approval rating of Congress is up an additional 8 points this month, after a 12-point increase last month, and now stands at 39% -- the most positive assessment of Congress since February 2005. Americans who identify themselves as Democrats are mostly responsible for the improved ratings of Congress measured in the March 5-8 Gallup Poll. After showing a 25-point increase in their approval of Congress from January to February and a further 14-point increase in March, a majority of Democrats (57%) now approve of the job the Democratically-controlled Congress is doing. Independents also show improved ratings of Congress, but not nearly to the extent that Democrats do. Republicans' evaluations of Congress have changed very little this year."

Voters See Bi-Partisanship As A Fading Dream

Posted Mar 10, 2009 at 2:06 AM by Maurice Berger

Just about half of the nation's voters--49%--now believe politics in Washington will be more partisan over the next year. This number represents a 9% gain since early February and a 15% jump since early January: The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just "32% expect more cooperation between the two sides over the coming year. That’s down from 48% in January."

Rasmussen also reports a much smaller shift in perceptions of President Obama's governing style. 39% believe he is "governing on a bipartisan basis, down from 42% a month ago. The number who believe he is governing as a partisan Democrat has gone up four points to 43%. But more voters think that members of Congress from both political parties are more partisan than Obama. 50% of voters say congressional Republicans are acting in a partisan manner. 60% say that congressional Democrats are behaving as partisans."

Americans Slightly More Satisfied With State Of The Nation

Posted Mar 09, 2009 at 2:19 AM by Maurice Berger

Americans are slightly more satisfied with the state of the country, according to a new Gallup poll: While overall satisfaction remains low, at an average of 21% for the past week, this number represents a slight improvement from the 14% satisfaction rating in early February: "Gallup has measured national satisfaction daily since Barack Obama took office, and also did so in late October through December 2008. In the latter part of 2008, satisfaction ratings ranged from a low of 9% in Dec. 12-14 polling to a high of just 14% in the first few days after the election and after Thanksgiving. Little seemed to change when Obama first took office -- in Jan. 21-23 polling, 14% of Americans said they were satisfied. After showing a brief improvement in late January, the percentage who reported being satisfied with the state of the nation settled back to 14% by early February. But since that time, satisfaction has shown a slight but steady improvement, and has been 20% or higher each of the last seven days."

Republicans Pull Close in Generic Congresional Ballot

Posted Mar 06, 2009 at 1:28 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may suggest a looming problem for the Obama administration in the 2010 congressional elections, a new Rasmussen survey reports that "the race between Republicans and Democrats has once again tightened up in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. For the third time in the last four weeks, Republicans have pulled to within two points of the Democrats. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 41% of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 39% said they would choose the Republican. While support for the Democrats has not changed since, support for the GOP has increased two points."

Two-Thirds of Americans Rate Economy As Poor

Posted Mar 02, 2009 at 2:12 AM by Maurice Berger

In an indication that Americans remain pessimistic about the nation's economy future, the vast majority of respondents in a recent poll now rate the economy as poor: According to Rasmussen Reports, just 8% of adults rate the economy as good or excellent and 66% say the economy is poor. Meanwhile only 11% say the economy is getting better and 66% believe it is getting worse. 81% think the United States is currently in a recession, while 8% disagree. This lack of confidence represents one of the most daunting challenges facing the new Obama administration. In recessionary times, a lack of optimism can suppress consumer spending, leading to a vicious cycle of economic anxiety and decline.



Americans Have Mixed Feeling About Various Aspects Of The Stimulus

Posted Feb 26, 2009 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger

A USA Today/Gallup poll reports that Americans have mixed feelings about what the stimulus package should support: "The Obama administration and other advocates have argued that the massive government spending on these programs is necessary to keep a bad economic situation from getting far worse. Critics have found fault with the amounts of money involved and the long-term impact or the lack thereof. And the American public? A review and analysis of recent polling assessing the various government initiatives makes it possible to summarize American public opinion as follows: 1) Americans are generally behind the $787 billion stimulus plan (officially known as the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act"), signed into law on Feb. 17, although with significant reservations; 2) Americans are solidly in favor of aid to homeowners facing foreclosure; 3) Americans are solidly against giving further aid to the auto companies; and 4) Americans are generally against the idea of providing further aid to ailing banks (although support for an actual government takeover of failing banks is fluid and depends on how such a process is described)."

Public Thinks Mortgage Subsidies Reward Bad Behavior

Posted Feb 24, 2009 at 1:56 AM by Maurice Berger

A majority pf American adults--55%--believe the "federal government would be rewarding bad behavior by providing mortgage subsidies to financially troubled homeowners." Among investors, 65% hold that view. A new poll reports that among all adults, just 32% disagree. 77% of Republicans and 60% of those not affiliated with either major political party believe the mortgage help subsidizes bad behavior. Most Democrats--51%--disagree.

Voters Read Stimulus Plan As Partisan

Posted Feb 19, 2009 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger

The American public now rejects the idea that the stimulus package was a partisan effort: 60% of U.S. voters according to a new poll say the economic stimulus plan "is mostly what Democrats want rather than a truly bipartisan product." 25% think the plan is a bipartisan effort; 15% are not sure. "80% of Republicans say the stimulus is mostly a Democratic plan, while Democrats themselves are evenly divided on the question. 62% of unaffiliated voters say it’s mostly what Democrats want, while 22% characterize the plan as bipartisan."

Americans Remain Skeptical of Stimulus Package

Posted Feb 17, 2009 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger

Americans continue to remain circumspect about the stimulus packaged signed into law by President Obama. 38% of voters now believe the $787-billion stimulus will help the economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. 29% believe the plan will hurt and 24% believe it will have little impact. Middle-income Americans are more likely to believe the bill will hurt rather than help. Those with incomes below $40,000 or above $100,000 are more optimistic.

US Voters Growing Impatient With Congress

Posted Feb 16, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger

When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, a new Rasmussen survey reports, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress. 19% trust members of Congress more, 14% aren’t sure.President Obama only does marginally better: 49% of U.S. voters trust their own judgment more than his when it comes to the economic issues affecting the nation. 39% trust the president more. 12% are not sure whose judgment is better.

Confidence In Democrats To Handle Economy Is Falling

Posted Feb 13, 2009 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger

A new Rasmussen survey suggests possible political storm clouds for Democrats on the question of how well they can manage the economy: "Democrats are still trusted more than Republicans to handle the economy by a 44% to 39% margin, but their advantage on the issue has been slipping steadily since November; 17% are not sure which party they trust more to handle the economy. In the first poll conducted after Barack Obama was elected president, the Democrats held a 15-point lead over the GOP on economic issues. In December, their lead dropped to 12 points. In January, prior to Obama’s inauguration, Democrats held a nine-point lead on the issue."

Gallup: Decided Uptick in Support For Stimulus Package

Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 10:43 AM by Maurice Berger

A new USA Today/Gallup poll reports a decided uptick in support for the economic stimulus package now working its way through congress: "Public support for an $800 billion economic stimulus package has increased to 59% in the poll conducted Tuesday night, up from 52% in Gallup polling a week ago, as well as in late January. Most of the newfound support comes from rank-and-file Democrats, suggesting President Barack Obama's efforts to sell the plan over the past week -- including in his first televised news conference on Monday -- have shored up support within his own party. Over the same period, support for the stimulus package held steady among independents, with a slight majority in favor of it. The percentage of Republicans favoring the package rose slightly from 24% to 28%, but remains below the 34% support received in early January, before Congress began its formal consideration of the package."

The Democratic Brand May Be In Trouble

Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 2:36 AM by Maurice Berger

In an ominous sign for the Democrats, public displeasure with Congress seems to be translating into much decreased support for Democratic legislators. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys found that in the generic congressional balllot, the Democrats’ lead is down to just one percentage point. Forty percent (40%) of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate while 39% said they would choose the Republican. "This marks the lowest level of support for the Democrats in tracking history," Rasmussen reports, "and is the closest the two parties have been on the generic ballot."

Public Has Little Faith in US Congress

Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger

While President Obama continues to enjoy healthy--if somewaht diminished approval numbers--Congress does not do half as well. A new poll suggests that the American public has little confidence in its elected delegates to the US Congress: "The Senate is scheduled to vote today on an $838-billion economic stimulus plan, but 58% of U.S. voters say most members of congress will not understand what is in the plan before they vote on it . . . just 24% believe most of Congress will understand the contents of the 700-page-plus plan before they vote.19% are not sure. Two-thirds of the nation’s voters (69%) lack confidence that Congress knows what it is doing when it comes to addressing the country’s current economic problems. Just 29% are even somewhat confident in the legislators"


Voters Want More Tax Cuts, Less Spending In Stimulus Package

Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 3:24 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new poll, voters want the stimulus plan  making its way through Congress to include more tax cuts and less government spending: "Just 14% would like to move in the opposite direction with more government spending and fewer tax cuts . . . 20% would be happy to pass it pretty much as is, and 5% are not sure. Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly want to see more tax cuts and less government spending. Democrats are more evenly divided: 42% agree with the Republicans, 32% want to pass the plan as is, and 22% would like to see more government spending and fewer tax cuts." 

A Plurality of Voters See Obama As Bipartisan

Posted Feb 03, 2009 at 8:25 AM by Maurice Berger

While a plurality of voters see Barack Obama's governing style as bipartisan, they are not so sure about the US Congress: "42% of U.S. voters say President Obama is governing on a bipartisan basis while 39% say he is governing as a partisan Democrat . . . [Yet] most voters believe congressmen from both major political parties are acting in a far more partisan manner than the president. 58% say congressional Democrats are governing in a partisan fashion, and 52% say the same about Republicans in Congress. Just 22% say members of both parties are acting on a bipartisan basis. Overall, 40% expect politics in Washington to become more partisan over the next year while 40% expect it to become more cooperative.>

Obama Popularity Boosts Democrats in Congress

Posted Jan 29, 2009 at 5:02 AM by Maurice Berger

Diageo/Hotline Poll of 800 registered voters conducted in late-January finds that President Obama's popularity is helping to boost voter perceptions of Democrats in congress: "Now that Democrats control both the White House and both Houses of Congress, Democrats in Congress currently find themselves as beneficiaries of President Obama's high favorability and job approval ratings . . . 49% of voters say they approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, while only 26% of voters who approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing. And, while the 111th Congress has been in session barely three weeks, the Poll finds that the Democratic candidate leads the Republican candidate 46%-22% in a generic 2010 congressional election match-up, with 27% of voters saying they are undecided."

Voters Trust Republicans More On National Security

Posted Jan 14, 2009 at 6:27 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may well be a problem for the incoming Obama administration and the new Democratic Congress, voters by a statistically significant margin trust Republicans more on matters of national security. According to a just released poll, Republicans hold the biggest lead over Democrats on the issue of national security since early September: 48% of voters trust the GOP more to handle national security and the War on Terror, while only 40% trust Democrats more. In December, the GOP held just a four-point lead on the issue. Trust in the Republicans hasn’t been this high since September 6, when they led the Democrats 50% to 40% on the issue." Unaffiliated voters give Republicans a staggering edge on handle national security--51% to 31%.