Pennsylvania has more competitive House races this year than just about anywhere in the country and generic ballot polling in the state bodes pretty well for the GOP's chances to make some gains. 48% of voters say they plan to support Republican candidates for Congress to 39% who say they will vote Democratic.
There are two main reasons for their strong advantage. The first is a 42-19 lead with independents. The second is that Republicans are more unified, with 84% of them committed to supporting their party's candidates this year while only 72% of Democrats say the same about theirs.
The division within the Republican Party, as seen through hotly contested primary contests, has received a lot of attention this year. But once a nominee is settled we're finding that in almost every race we poll GOP voters are more unified around their candidates than the Democrats are and that combined with a persistent advantage with independents is why Republican candidates across the country are tending to poll so well.
In Illinois Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot by a 46-40 margin. That may not be terribly reassuring though given how much the party runs up the score in a small number of districts. Six of Illinois' districts voted for President Obama at a 70% rate or higher in 2008.
The Pennsylvania generic ballot spread is equal to what we found for the Senate race in the state this week, while the 6 point generic ballot lead for Democrats in Illinois exceeds the 2 point lead we found for Alexi Giannoulias. That may give you a better idea of the shape Democrats would be in that race if they'd chosen a nominee with less baggage.
Full results here