Gallup: GOP moves ahead of Democrats on generic Congressional ballot

posted at 9:30 am on April 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Steny Hoyer keeps talking about how ObamaCare will create a wave of voter support for Democrats in the mid-term elections, but the evidence makes him more Baghdad Bob than Michael Barone.  Gallup becomes the latest pollster to find that the Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats on the generic Congressional ballot — and this time among registered rather than likely voters (via Andrew Malcolm):

Registered voters now say they prefer the Republican to the Democratic candidate in their district by 47% to 44% in the midterm congressional elections, the first time the GOP has led in 2010 election preferences since Gallup began weekly tracking of these in March.

The March 22-28 results were obtained after the U.S. House’s passage of landmark healthcare reform legislation on March 21. The shift toward Republicans raises the possibility that the healthcare bill had a slightly negative impact on the Democrats’ political fortunes in the short run. …

A Republican advantage among all registered voters in midterm elections has been rare in Gallup’s 60-year history of tracking congressional voting preferences, happening only a few times each in the 1950, 1994, and 2002 election cycles — all years in which Republicans had strong Election Day showings.

As Gallup notes in its write-up, the registered voter sample type does not have the best predictive model for upcoming elections.  Republicans tend to turn out in greater percentages, which is why pollsters like Rasmussen tend to stick with likely-voter samples and why their polls tend to do better at predictions.  Even in years where the GOP trailed Democrats on these polls, they made gains in Congress.  The metric before this year was to pull within the margin of error, three or four points down, in order to get the signal for a good year.  With the GOP moving ahead, it looks like a coming landslide.

Gallup also notes that this trend started after the passage of ObamaCare.  Why did voters turn away from Democrats after their big legislative win of the session?  A poll yesterday by Gallup provides the explanation:

Proponents, as well as opponents, of the new healthcare reform law think the legislation is less than perfect. Both groups agree that the bill didn’t do enough to deal with rising healthcare costs. Apart from this, however, they perceive very different types of flaws.

Forty-seven percent of Americans polled by USA Today/Gallup March 26-28 say it is a good thing the plan passed, while 50% call it a bad thing.

Three-quarters of the “good thing” group believe the law should include a government-run insurance plan, or public option. Also, 6 in 10 (59%) say it doesn’t go far enough in regulating the healthcare industry.

These findings — in particular the large majority still desiring a public option — could explain why more advocates of the reform bill do not feel “enthusiastic” about it. According to Gallup polling conducted immediately after passage, most supporters of the bill said they were “pleased” rather than “enthusiastic” (66% vs. 29%). By contrast, nearly as many opponents of the bill were “angry” as “disappointed” (46% vs. 52%).

Opponents of the plan — those calling passage a “bad thing” — are in near-total agreement that the bill goes too far in expanding the government’s role in the healthcare system and that it will cost the government too much.

Unfortunately for Democrats, the “bad thing” group still outstrips the “good thing” group, and that will continue to be the case while surprises like the menu mandate and throwing retirees into Medicare Plan D continue to arise.  The Democrats didn’t even get a bump for finally winning a vote in a Congress they have controlled entirely since 2007.  Instead, voters are unhappy with them for passing a bill they didn’t like.  If Steny Hoyer thinks that means a big win at the midterms, then perhaps his Maryland district should send him into retirement rather than leaving him to his delusions.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

But, if the GOP chickens out on repeal, what will that do to the numbers?

OldEnglish on April 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM

The shift toward Republicans raises the possibility that the healthcare bill had a slightly negative impact on the Democrats’ political fortunes in the short run. …

That is almost as funny as what Hank Jones said.

cozmo on April 1, 2010 at 9:34 AM

But, if the GOP chickens out on repeal, what will that do to the numbers?

Let’s hope they don’t. Politicians are supposed to place themselves at the front of the parade and parts of the Republican establishment don’t even hear the music.

Drained Brain on April 1, 2010 at 9:35 AM

OldEnglish on April 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM

i’m afraid of them becoming democrat lite again…

cmsinaz on April 1, 2010 at 9:36 AM

pretty much invalidates their argument that they used for passing this debacle. They said, it’ll be better if it passes. Well, it ain’t, and I really don’t see things improving since the pain train is rolling down the tracks at us as we speak.

ted c on April 1, 2010 at 9:37 AM

If Steny Hoyer thinks that means a big win at the midterms

i say, let him continue to think this way, it will be even more sweet when the landslide ends at his feet

cmsinaz on April 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Even if they win and pull ahead, they’ll STILL play footsie with the dems.

Pus-ies.

LtE126 on April 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

LtE126 on April 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

via graham, snow, and mccain (if he wins)

cmsinaz on April 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Oh this can’t be right. I read yesterday or so that Republicans read Drudge, and that makes them delusional about their chances, because Drudge only puts up pro-GOP links.

It was on the internet, so it must be true, right?

JamesLee on April 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

But, if the GOP chickens out on repeal, what will that do to the numbers?

OldEnglish on April 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Whoever chickens out, vote them out, too.

Vote in conservatives with testicles, be they men or women. Unfortunately, conservative women seem to have more balls than the men these days.

Daggett on April 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Just wait for all of the Op Ed pieces that will come out blaming all of this on every Republican being a racist and how they can’t stand a black man being President, etc. You know it is going to happen. Heck I am willing to bet a small but significant sum of money that some LLL’s editors are already fine tuning articles for the upcoming land slide.

Johnnyreb on April 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM

And we’ll continue to make gains if we learn to stay out of people personal lives.

We can never expect to get anywhere if our limited government stance doesn’t include limited government for the individual.

Anything less than liberty is hypocritical.

Speakup on April 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM

A 60 seat gain seems a bit low now.

Dusty on April 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM

The generic ballot was tied going into November 1994 elections.

Think about it.

It’s gonna be a bloodbath.

uknowmorethanme on April 1, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Here’s one of Steny’s challengers this year for the 5th district in Maryland:

http://www.lollarforcongress.com/

He looks good to me. Businessman, major in the USMC reserves, and family man. Has anyone heard Mr. Lollar speak at the DC or Solomon’s Island tea parties? I see the videos are on youtube, but I’m behind a firewall.

perries on April 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Johnnyreb on April 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM

no doubt that will happen

cmsinaz on April 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I hope Repubs read the tea leaves accurately, then. Given the recent squishiness on repeal, I’m not so sure. I have a very, very bad feeling about it all.

Hubs and I are starting local, though. Today I’m researching candidates and definitely voting in the primaries. Sick of the Blue-hegemony in NC.

Diane on April 1, 2010 at 9:44 AM

pretty much invalidates their argument that they used for passing this debacle. They said, it’ll be better if it passes. Well, it ain’t, and I really don’t see things improving since the pain train is rolling down the tracks at us as we speak.

ted c on April 1, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I think even most Congressional Dems knew they couldn’t sell this bill to the public after ramming it through. This was about Obama saving face. But he and his party will pay a heavy price for it.

The problem is now that they can’t sell it, they’re resorting to smearing people who oppose it. That’s a dangerous political strategery that could do irreparable harm to the Democrat Party in the fall. How can you ram an unpopular bill through using bribes and parliamentary tricks, call its opponents racists and ignoramuses, and then ask them for their votes come November?

Doughboy on April 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Daggett on April 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Looks like SarahP is going to be busy for the next few months.

OldEnglish on April 1, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Big F-ing Deal.

Good Lt on April 1, 2010 at 9:52 AM

I really don’t see things improving since the pain train is rolling down the tracks at us as we speak.

Yup. They set the pain train in motion when President B+ signed the bills.

And people know it.

Good Lt on April 1, 2010 at 9:54 AM

The dems will do just fine.

Hawk-bama said we will be able to drill off of our own shores.
Hawk-bama said we will be imposing sanctions in weeks not months.

VibrioCocci on April 1, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Unexpected.

Let the donkey beating begin.

NoDonkey on April 1, 2010 at 9:56 AM

If the Republicans chicken out on repeal, we find some better Repubs.

trigon on April 1, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Let the donkey beating begin.

BEAT THAT ASS!

Good Lt on April 1, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Americans are not ready to give up personal Freedom and Liberty; period. Obama ran on lies and the people are pissed.

Once Republicans are back in power, we will be watching them very closely. Reform is needed especially dealing directly with the cancerous corruption that plagues D.C. Identifying those cancerous cells is a real good starting point. Lock people up and set the standard for the future.

Keemo on April 1, 2010 at 10:00 AM

If the Republicans chicken out on repeal, we find some better Repubs.

trigon on April 1, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Looking forward to Rubio down here. Any Floridians seen the Crist ads? Pathetic. New blood is needed. Then we stay right on them.

katy the mean old lady on April 1, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Hoyer and the other Dems can keep spinning for now because polls are just that — polls. But once we get past Labor Day and the polls remain like this, the preemptive finger pointing and blame game among endangered Dems and their leadership is going to get fierce, while the urge for Dems and the big media to get shriller and shriller about attacking the general public as idiots for moving away from their wonderful programs is going to be harder and harder for them to resist. If Steny keeps this up through November, he’s going to become the Capitol Hill embodiment of Kevin Bacon’s Chip “All is Well!” Diller character in “Animal House”.

jon1979 on April 1, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Unfortunately, conservative women seem to have more balls than the men these days.

Daggett on April 1, 2010 at 9:39 AM

“Unfortunate” or not, the conservative women are only filling a leadership void.
What’s really unfortunate is, so did Nancy Pelosi.

parteagirl on April 1, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Let’s do another poll:

Those who feel that the leadership of the GOP is full of chicken $hits?

Stand and fight! All the momentum is on OUR side and already these knuckleheads are turning into Debbie Downers.

search4truth on April 1, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Forty-seven percent of Americans polled by USA Today/Gallup March 26-28 say it is a good thing the plan passed, while 50% call it a bad thing.

Three-quarters of the “good thing” group believe the law should include a government-run insurance plan, or public option. Also, 6 in 10 (59%) say it doesn’t go far enough in regulating the healthcare industry.

These findingsin particular the large majority still desiring a public option — could explain why more advocates of the reform bill do not feel “enthusiastic” about it.

This article seems misleading. Forty-seven percent say it’s a good thing. Okay. Then it says that three-quarters of the “good” group (75% of 47%, or 36% overall) desired a public option. Then, it says a large majority still desiring the public option. What? If nothing else, it’s sloppy writing. Maybe 75% of Obamacare acolytes want a public option that represents only about 36% of the survey respondents.

Stop garbling the reporting.

BuckeyeSam on April 1, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I want the bill repealed as much as the rest of you, but I don’t really disagree with the strategy to leave it up to the individual candidates to run on repeal (or stay silent on the issue). Even with huge gains in the House, the numbers won’t be there in the Senate until maybe 2012.

I think individual GOP candidates should decide whether to run on repeal or not. If they don’t, don’t automatically write them off and refuse to vote for them in November. Just keep up the pressure so that it get’s done within the next four years, because it’s not going to get done THIS year, barring the GOP making unexpected huge gains in the Senate too.

Vyce on April 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Regardless of the rhetoric (LIES) from Hoyer, Pelosi, Obama,
or Biden some simple facts remain.

Obama Care is a reduction in Care
Obama Care is not affordable or sustainable in His Socialist
transformed broken economy
Obama Care is not Reform in any sense
Anyone that voted for this travesty is now Fair Game in 2010, 2012 and should be held responsible for their vote
The Consent of the Governed must be restored

Regime Change is inevitable. Sic Semper Tyranus!

old trooper2 on April 1, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Looking forward to Rubio down here. Any Floridians seen the Crist ads? Pathetic. New blood is needed. Then we stay right on them.

Heh.

Yeah, the Crist ads are pathetic all right…and the Rubio ads are great…The picture of Obama (aka Scooter, aka The Wizard of Uhhs) and Crist (Da Oompaloompa) looking like they are going to kiss while “Yes we can, yes we can!” plays in the background is friggin’ classic. I laugh every time that ad plays. Can’t wait to vote for Rubio!

Battlecruiser-operational on April 1, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Register, register, register!!!

Never, never never quit!

Khun Joe on April 1, 2010 at 10:38 AM

As Gallup notes in its write-up, the registered voter sample type does not have the best predictive model for upcoming elections. Republicans tend to turn out in greater percentages, which is why pollsters like Rasmussen tend to stick with likely-voter samples and why their polls tend to do better at predictions.

Rasmussen had the Democrats up by 7 points just before Election Day 2008, when the Democrats picked up 30 House seats and 8 Senate seats. Rasmussen now has the Republicans up by 7 points, which could signal a big swing in their direction.

Even in years where the GOP trailed Democrats on these polls, they made gains in Congress. The metric before this year was to pull within the margin of error, three or four points down, in order to get the signal for a good year. With the GOP moving ahead, it looks like a coming landslide.

There’s another reason why Gallup might understate Republican gains this year. There are a few dozen inner-city districts where Democrats either run unopposed or win by huge lopsided margins (80%+), whereas Republicans from even very safe districts rarely win with more than 65% of the vote.

If both parties had the same number of House seats, Democrats would still win the “generic” vote due to the bigger margins in the cities. In order for Republicans to win the “generic” vote, the Republican deficits in the “safe” districts would have to be counteracted by Republican margins in close, competitive districts, which would translate to dozens of new House seats.

Steve Z on April 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Obama turned out for the last three elections to stump for the Democrat Candidates Corzine,Coakley and I can’t remember who was running for Governor on the Democrat ticket for Virginia…that’s how well Obama made an impression on voters in off Presidential election cycle…..there are NO coat tails, and these fools jumped off a cliff for a Bill that has a very good chance of being shot down as Unconstitutional in the Courts.

I’m not in Michigan but I am well aware of who is running against Bart Stupak…imagine if Dr Benishek gets the support that Scott Brown did in Massachusetts. The Republicans really don’t get the need for symbolism Stupaking -Stupak, That’s a really Strong message to send out into the country, in the Electorate’s view. Talk about a morale booster. I would say the Republican base are not the only ones that are energized, many Independents felt betrayed by Obama once he started “Ruling” the Country, and not Governing the Country.

Dr Evil on April 1, 2010 at 10:43 AM

The democrats have lied so much for so long that they have finally turned the corner where they now believe their own lies. It is fascinating to watch.

Aviator on April 1, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I’m still waiting for that 10% bump that Billy told Barry he would get. Or was Billy SETTING BARRY UP?

GarandFan on April 1, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I want the bill repealed as much as the rest of you, but I don’t really disagree with the strategy to leave it up to the individual candidates to run on repeal (or stay silent on the issue). Even with huge gains in the House, the numbers won’t be there in the Senate until maybe 2012.

I think individual GOP candidates should decide whether to run on repeal or not. If they don’t, don’t automatically write them off and refuse to vote for them in November. Just keep up the pressure so that it get’s done within the next four years, because it’s not going to get done THIS year, barring the GOP making unexpected huge gains in the Senate too.

Vyce on April 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM

If the voters really hate this health-care bill, which poll after poll shows they do, running on “repeal” is a good way to get elected. Another strategy could be to campaign on cutting taxes, and preventing the Government from paying for ObamaCare, whose benefits won’t be paid until 2014 anyway.

Even in a best-case scenario, it is unlikely that the Republicans take the Senate in 2010, but if they can get to 48 or 49 seats in 2010, they’ve got a good shot at taking the Senate in 2012, when six freshman Democrats, three of whom won squeakers in 2006 (Jon Tester, Jim Webb, and Claire McCaskill), will be up for re-election.

Realistically, the entire bill can’t be repealed until after 2012, because everybody knows that Obama would veto a repeal attempt, and Republicans wouldn’t have the votes to override a veto. Still, if Republicans re-take the House in 2010, they can vote to de-fund the ObamaCare bill, or cut taxes so much elsewhere (or extend the Bush tax cuts) that money needs to be transferred out of ObamaCare to pay for essential government services.

Since the “benefits” of ObamaCare aren’t paid until 2014,
Republicans in 2012 can campaign against Obama as the President who greatly increased taxes and deficits for no benefits (not only with ObamaCare, but also with Porkulus), and that a Republican President would sign a repeal of ObamaCare passed by a Republican Congress, reduce taxes, and restore fiscal sanity to the government.

Steve Z on April 1, 2010 at 11:02 AM

47% to 44%??? It should be 75% to 25%. Where is the outrage???

labrat on April 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM

The Republicans need to hammer the economic impact of HCR, over and over. The worst effects won’t be apparent immediately, and the Democrats are counting on voters forgetting about the battle by November. The Republicans can’t let that happen.

Nichevo on April 1, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Awesome news. We can end amnesty and start the repeal of ObamaCare.

Oh wait….

angryed on April 1, 2010 at 11:25 AM

But, if the GOP chickens out on repeal, what will that do to the numbers?

OldEnglish on April 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM

ONLY vote for the ones that 100% stand for repeal. Period.

royzer on April 1, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Delusional is right. My sister informed me yesterday that she just received her healthinsurance notice to the effect that her premiums are going up 20% beginning May 1, 2010. It took all of 10 days for this to happen and it’s due directly to ObamaCare.

Among my friends and acquaitances there is now a steely resolve that has taken the place of the expressed outrage evident up to now. It reminds me of soldiers who are about to close with a hated enemy and give them the bayonet. I can’t imagine that this kind of resolve will do anything other than increase across the land between now and November.

JimP on April 1, 2010 at 12:05 PM

i say, let him continue to think this way, it will be even more sweet when the landslide ends at his feet buries him six feet under.

cmsinaz on April 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Fixed.

JDPerren on April 1, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Who in their right mind names a kid steny? Must have had dipshits for parents,like most democrats.

nukeemnow on April 1, 2010 at 12:53 PM

What is Rasmussen’s definition of a “likely” voter?

burt on April 1, 2010 at 12:58 PM

If any Republican chickens out after the Democrats have practically pushed an incredible opportunity on them, throw him (or her) summarily to the wolves and put in someone who will vote for repeal. At 62, I haven’t the time to wait for the inevitable failure of Obamacare to come to fruition. I’ll have to move somewhere else where I can still get most of the care that I might need someday. I really would rather stay in my own country, but I will do what I have to.

In the meantime, however, I plan on making my US Senator sweat. Getting rid of Boxer has been the impossible dream. Maybe this year it will become a reality.

hachiban on April 1, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Steny Hoyer on campus today;

Fiscal Solutions Tour

Thursday, April 1, 2010
4:00-5:30 pm
Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center | Orem Alumni Hall

LIVE STREAMING OF EVENT

In collaboration with the Concord Coalition, the School of Public Policy Saul I. Stern Professorship in Civic Engagement will host a Fiscal Solutions Tour. The panel will feature Representative Steny Hoyer and David M. Walker, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation; as they explain in plain terms the nation’s daunting long-term fiscal outlook. They will be joined by:

Donald F. Kettl, Dean, School of Public Policy (Moderator)
William D. Novelli, Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
Andrew G. Biggs, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)
Robert L. Bixby, Executive Director, The Concord Coalition

RSVP to events@ur.umd.edu or 301.405.4638 (Please indidate “Fiscal Solutions Tour”)

Paid Parking is available for guests at the Stadium Drive parking garage located next to the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center and Byrd Stadium. The cost for parking is $3 per hour ($15 maximum a day).

Terp Mole on April 1, 2010 at 2:13 PM

The shift toward Republicans raises the possibility that the healthcare bill had a slightly negative impact on the Democrats’ political fortunes in the short run. …

Slightly? Short run? smirk.

Terrye on April 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM

The problem with generic ballots is the gerrymandered districts make this irrelevant.

For relevancy, the GOP in each state should try to get their state to adopt at large elections, or alternate between districts and at-large. There is NO PROVISION IN CONGRESS THAT DEFINES THAT CONGRESSCRITTERS HAVE TO COME FROM DISTRICTS — only that each state has X number of CONGRESSCRITTERS related to the State population. With at large elections, one would eliminate lots of entrenched Dems, but, with no safe districts, everyone would have to run.

Successful politicians would likely find several niches to appeal to — some would be big city guys, some suburbans, some rural, some econuts, some union types, some small business types — whatever the marketplace supports…

drfredc on April 1, 2010 at 4:53 PM