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.
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.
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%.
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
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."
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."
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
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.
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%
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%.
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%.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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%.
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:
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"
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
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."
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."
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:
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.
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%.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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."
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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%.
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
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%,
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%.
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
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%.
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
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."
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."
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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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"
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.
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.
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
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).
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."
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
Posted Jul 13, 2010 at 12:41 AM by Maurice Berger
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.
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.
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."
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
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
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
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
Posted Apr 13, 2010 at 1:36 AM by Maurice Berger
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."
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:
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
Posted Apr 07, 2010 at 12:23 AM by Maurice Berger
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.
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.
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.
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."
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%.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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%
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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."
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."
Posted Oct 14, 2009 at 1:49 AM by Maurice Berger
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.
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:
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."
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:
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."
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."
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
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."
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:
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.
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.
Posted Jul 20, 2009 at 2:08 AM by Maurice Berger
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."
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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
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
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."
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.
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)."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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
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
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."
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.>
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."
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%.