Monday, January 25, 2010

Generic Ballot Numbers

Republicans lead the generic ballot 45-42 on our latest national poll. Their advantage is a function of the same formula that has brought them victories in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts of late: a double digit lead with independents (43-31), and a slightly more unified party base (87% of GOP voters say they'll support their party compared to 84% of Democrats.)

Congressional Democrats continue to have a higher approval rating at 32% than the 24% of their Republican colleagues, but that's mostly because Democrats are more likely to rate their own party well than Republicans are. 66% of Democrats express support for their Congressional leadership while only 50% of GOP voters do for theirs. Continuing a long running trend voters who don't like either party plan to vote Republican by a 59-20 margin, which is why the GOP can continue to be unpopular and still have successes at the polls.

Turnout from racial minorities is going to be huge for Democrats this fall because they actually trail 53-31 among white voters. The only thing keeping the generic ballot competitive is their 88-12 lead with African Americans and 67-27 one with Hispanics. Minority turnout is always important for Democrats but with their level of unpopularity among white voters right now at an extreme level it's going to be even more important than usual.

The relationship of generic ballot numbers to actual election outcomes varies from cycle to cycle but this is just another data point indicating that a GOP takeover of Congress is plausible, quite a contrast from even a few months ago.

Full results here

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