Earlier today, Paul reviewed breakdowns of poll data in individual races to assess the likelihood of the Democrats losing control of the House in November. Michael Barone takes a macro-view of the election, and arrives at an optimistic conclusion: “House Democrats head for a thumping at the polls.”
[T]ake a look at the generic ballot question — which party’s candidate will you vote for in elections to the House? The current realclearpolitics.com average shows Republicans ahead by 45 to 41 percent. Ten of this month’s 15 opinion polls asking the question had Republicans ahead; Democrats led in four (twice by 1 percent), and one poll showed a tie.
Keep in mind that the generic ballot question historically has tended to underpredict Republican performance in off-year elections. Gallup has been asking the question since 1950 and has shown Republicans leading only in two cycles, 1994 and 2002, and then by less than the 7 and 5 points by which they won the popular vote for the House in those years.
So the Republicans’ current lead in the generic ballot question suggests they may be on the brink of doing better than in any election since 1946, when they won a 245-188 margin in the House — larger than any they’ve held ever since.
As you would expect, the Republicans are doing even better among likely voters. The current Rasmussen survey has them ahead by ten points, 46-36 percent.
The most interesting fact in Barone’s column, however, was this one:
Two years ago, Obama was elected president with a historic 53 percent of the vote — more than any other Democrat in history except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
I infer that the public’s skepticism of Democratic Presidential candidates has deep roots.