Breaking: Battleground poll shows GOP +4 on Congressional ballot, wide intensity gap

posted at 9:01 am on September 3, 2014 by Guy Benson

Brand new numbers from a fresh Politico/GWU nationwide survey —  all of which are among likely voters, with a partisan sample of 41/40/17 (D/R/I):

(1) Republicans hold a four-point lead (43/39) on the generic Congressional ballot, a measure that traditionally favors Democrats.  Including leaners, the margin is unchanged (46/42).  Republicans have a strong edge on this question among independent (+15) and middle class voters (+11).  And then there’s this, with all the obvious caveats about the reliability of small sub-samples firmly in place:

In states with a competitive US Senate race, Republicans hold a sixteen point advantage (52%-36%) on this generic ballot.” I suspect 16 percentage points is outside even the most ardent skeptic’s margin of error.

(2) President Obama is a drag on his party.  A majority of likely 2014 voters disapprove of his job performance (44/51), with strong disapproval outpacing strong approval by 18 points (27/45).  Obama’s approval ratings are underwater by double digits on a slew of major issues: The economy (-10), solving problems (-12), working with Congress (-17), federal spending and budgets (-26), foreign policy (-20), and immigration (-20).  He’s upside-down, but within the margin of error on his handling of jobs, taxes, Social Security, Medicare and “representing middle class values.”  Obama is only in positive territory on one of the 12 issues polled: “Standing up for the middle class,” and that’s only by two percentage points.

(3) The public’s overall mood is quite sour.  Just 21 percent of respondents say the country is on the right track, with fully 70 percent saying America is on the wrong track.  Other polling on this question is similarly grim.

(4) When the two parties go head-to-head, Republicans hold clear advantages on several of the issues that are most likely to drive the 2014 campaign:

Economy: GOP +7

Federal budget/spending: GOP +13

Taxes: GOP +6

Foreign policy: GOP +10

Immigration +7

The parties are virtually tied on jobs and solving problems.  Democrats hold leads on Social Security, Medicare (ahem), and middle class issues.  However, “Republicans enjoy a double digit advantage with middle class voters on [four] decisive issues,” according to pollsters from the Terrance Group, the Republican-leaning half of the partnership that conducted the survey.  Those four are the economy, taxes, foreign policy and immigration.  Also, see the generic ballot figure noted in item #1.

(5) Finally, a word on voter enthusiasm and intensity, again via the pollsters:

The vote intensity of Republican voters is strong – a net twelve-points more than their Democratic counterparts. Overall, sixty-two percent (62%) of voters say they are extremely likely to vote in the November elections. However, Republicans (69% extremely likely) outpace Democrats (57% extremely likely). In fact, this intensity advantage exceeds where Republicans were in the September 2010 Battleground Poll.

It’s little wonder, based on these numbers, that Democrats are hoping to fight the 2014 cycle on terrain such as birth control (here’s a good GOP response), pay equity for women (cough), corporate inversions, the minimum wage, and Mediscare (which Republicans blunted in 2012 with counter-attacks like this).  Today’s Battleground poll data spells bad news for the Obama, Reid, Pelosi triumvirate — but two months is a long time in politics, and conservatives should take absolutely nothing for granted.  Vulnerable Democrats, meanwhile, are “twisting themselves in knots” trying to elude Obama’s anti-Midas touch:


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Ask Obama who is the greater enemy, ISIS or Republicans?

ConstantineXI on September 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Yep. Perfect time for Obama to pull the trigger on that amnesty executive order. That’ll turn the tide for all those swing state Democrats….

jon1979 on September 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Ask Obama who is the greater enemy, ISIS or Republicans?

ConstantineXI on September 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

No need to ask. Just watch what he does, and has done, for the last 6 years. The answer is obvious.

Mr. D on September 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Cry “Havoc”…!!

JohnGalt23 on September 3, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Errr… No link to poll?

BigGator5 on September 3, 2014 at 9:10 AM

with a partisan sample of 41/40/17 (D/R/I)

That’s the highest R percentage in any poll I have ever seen. I would temper the conclusions accordingly.

I am really tired of all the glowing pre-election polls for Republican candidates that never pan out in the results.

parke on September 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Adjust for the Democrat fraud factor, and it’s more of a toss up. They’d like us to think it’s in the bag.

RBMN on September 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Democrats with an (R) vs Democrats with a (D).

msupertas on September 3, 2014 at 9:13 AM

The vote intensity of Republican voters is strong

*chortle*

“Wahoo!!! Those Republicans are sure gonna change things when they get in power!! Gonna get rid of ObamaCare, gonna quit spending more than they take in, gonna make sure those illegal aliens stop coming in. Yes, sir, the GOP is gonna make it happen!!!! Yippeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!”

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 9:14 AM

The Pookies are gonna get put back in chains!!!

abobo on September 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM

but two months is a long time in politics, and conservatives should take absolutely nothing for granted

Agreed, I’m not taking it for granted that the GOP will actually work in the conservative interest if they gain control of the senate and keep the house.

Bishop on September 3, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Own it dems

cmsinaz on September 3, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Ask Obama who is the greater enemy, ISIS or Republicans?

ConstantineXI on September 3, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Republicans, obviously. Who else can stop Obama from making himself lifelong prezzie?

Turtle317 on September 3, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Constantine zing on the first post

Ill take door #2monty….

cmsinaz on September 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Cry “Havoc”…!!
JohnGalt23 on September 3, 2014 at 9:09 AM

… and let slip the dogs of war.

Closet Optimist on September 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Obama trying to sound tough against Russia right now

cmsinaz on September 3, 2014 at 9:22 AM

(2) President Obama is a drag on his party. A majority of likely 2014 voters disapprove of his job performance (44/51), with strong disapproval outpacing strong approval by 18 points (27/45). Obama’s approval ratings are underwater by double digits on a slew of major issues: The economy (-10), solving problems (-12), working with Congress (-17), federal spending and budgets (-26), foreign policy (-20), and immigration (-20). He’s upside-down, but within the margin of error on his handling of jobs, taxes, Social Security, Medicare and “representing middle class values.” Obama is only in positive territory on one of the 12 issues polled: “Standing up for the middle class,” and that’s only by two percentage points.

(3) The public’s overall mood is quite sour. Just 21 percent of respondents say the country is on the right track, with fully 70 percent saying America is on the wrong track. Other polling on this question is similarly grim.

Seriously, what the hell? I don’t always agree with Rush, but the “Limbaugh Theorem” was one of the most brilliant interpretations of a president and political climate that I’ve heard in quite a long time.

How the hell can people who are polled disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, federal spending and budgets (by double digits and in the case of the latter category, almost thirty percentage points), yet still rate him positively on “standing up for the middle class”? Are “middle class values” and the economy two separate things all of a sudden? It’s astounding how seemingly ignorant people can be.

Also, Americans still — overwhelmingly — disagree on where the country’s headed. So, even though 70% say America is on the wrong track, that doesn’t affect the middle class which the people in this survey seem to think is being handled well by the Obama administration. It is bewildering, to say the least.

Aizen on September 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM

That’s the highest R percentage in any poll I have ever seen. I would temper the conclusions accordingly.

parke on September 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

As a measure of likelies, in an-off year election? It’s a touch higher than what I would have thought, but not out of the ballpark…

JohnGalt23 on September 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

I am really tired of all the glowing pre-election polls for Republican candidates that never pan out in the results.

parke on September 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Me too. Won’t get fooled again. (I hear ya Pete)

Bat Chain Puller on September 3, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Polls. Ugh.

MT on September 3, 2014 at 9:25 AM

with a partisan sample of 41/40/17 (D/R/I)

That’s the highest R percentage in any poll I have ever seen. I would temper the conclusions accordingly.

I am really tired of all the glowing pre-election polls for Republican candidates that never pan out in the results.

parke on September 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Same here parke.

The Dems can read the polls too. It just tells them how many votes they have to buy.

itsspideyman on September 3, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Breaking! A poll?

What is this, CNN?

Fezzik on September 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Meh and democrats are out working on their ground game.

And by ground game, I mean determining which pookies they can get to the polls for a carton of smokes and which ones they can go ahead and send in the absentee vote card for.

HumpBot Salvation on September 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Kinda pathetic really, that a party leadership can’t get traction on their ideas (to the extent they have any) unless the opposition is totally inept.

…not sure if the ‘pathetic’ applies to the leadership or the citizenry…

Ricard on September 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

What is “Breaking” about this?

kcewa on September 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Breaking! A poll?

What is this, CNN?

Fezzik on September 3, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Guy Benson is easily excitable.

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

all of which are among likely voters

Polls based on “likely voters” don’t take into account Obama’s ground troops rounding up mail in ballots and casting them for the “unlikely voters”.

kcewa on September 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

What is “Breaking” about this?

kcewa on September 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Slow news day, gotta make do with what’s available.

Breaking News Action Alert…OOOOOWWWWWOOOOOGGGGAAAAAAHHHHH!

“John Boehner decides to have the veal cutlets instead of roast beef for lunch!”

OOOOOOWWWWWOOOOOOOGGGGAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

Bishop on September 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

This will give the GOPe all the confirmation they need to:
Stay under the rock, don’t take any stand on an issue, don’t mess with The One.

This will play right into the Dems hands and the GOPe (Rove) will have their (his) lunch handed to them again. Oh, we might be lucky this year, but it won’t amount to beans by 2016.

I heard a comment last night where it was suggested if Boehner was a leader, he would be calling the House back into session to make strong statements / resolutions against the “gathering storm”, force BO off the course.

Instead it’s golfing, baby kissing, glad handing and oh yea, “I’ll have another one” burp (Levin impression).

Whiterock on September 3, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Personally, I’ll wait for election day. Then, the following day when the recriminations and finger-pointing begins.

People despise what the president and Democrats are doing to our country. We are all struggling financially, insecure in any job we might have and the world is much more dangerous.

Congress and the president are disengaged from the things they should be doing, reaching into areas where they should not and largely play to demographics that don’t represent a majority of our citizens.

Republicans are a currently a somewhat indistinguishable part of that amalgamation. Even worse, their agenda is predicated on the same foolish principles, albeit a “lite” version.

That is today’s Republican Party. A second string who prides themselves of being slightly less foolish than the first string.

People are giving them a chance because the calculation is things can’t get much worse.

I look forward to the people who have shown nothing but cowardice and a proclivity to give-up the people’s power we entrusted them with fulfilling the weak, ineffectual, unprincipled role in a more prominent way. Republicans have given me no confidence they are up to the job.

Marcus Traianus on September 3, 2014 at 9:45 AM

parke, while I’m also generally skeptical of any and all positive polling for Republicans, this D+1 sample isn’t totally beyond the realm of possibility. The 2010 electorate wound up being R+1.

Also, I used ‘breaking’ in the headline because we were leaked a copy of a highly-anticipated poll & were one of the first sources to report on it.

Guy Benson on September 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Brand new numbers from a fresh Politico/GWU nationwide survey — all of which are among likely voters, with a partisan sample of 41/40/17 (D/R/I):

I don’t believe the sample, and if I did I would tell you it’s wrong.

dogsoldier on September 3, 2014 at 9:52 AM

GOPe: “See, this means they love us, and we should keep lurching leftward! Keep attacking conservatives, and queue up the amnesty for post-election, they’ll love us even more!”

Midas on September 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

with a partisan sample of 41/40/17 (D/R/I)

To get numbers like these, the likely voter screen must be knocking a lot of independents our of the mix and more Dems than R’s. Strictly on voter registration, I can’t see this break down. However, if enthusiasm is high for R’s low for I’s and medium for D’s I suppose the election day mix could be close to this.

KW64 on September 3, 2014 at 10:04 AM

“Standing up for the middle class,”

WTF?

That explains why King Barack is always hanging out with the rich.

GarandFan on September 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Breaking! A poll?

What is this, CNN?

Exactly. What about the Pew poll a few days ago that showed D’s +5? Was that “breaking” too?

bobs1196 on September 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Democrats cheat.

Democrats throw every election.

To win Republicans must have actual numbers like this.

And I won’t believe it until I see it.

petunia on September 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

GOPe: “See, this means they love us, and we should keep lurching leftward! Keep attacking conservatives, and queue up the amnesty for post-election, they’ll love us even more!”

Midas on September 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Nobody has to attack “conservatives” you have such a chip on your shoulder you attack your self every time you comment.

It is sick watching you.

petunia on September 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Obama destroyed Osama Bin Laden and he will destroy ISIS.

nonpartisan on September 2, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Del Dolemonte on September 3, 2014 at 10:46 AM

“Don’t boo, vote!”

Memo to Obama: We’ve been booing for six years. We’re voting in November.

Steve Z on September 3, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Are “middle class values” and the economy two separate things all of a sudden? It’s astounding how seemingly ignorant people can be.

Aizen on September 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM

You missed the memo.

“Middle class” as currently used refers overwhelmingly to the entitlement class, the one’s we used to call disadvantaged or underprivileged (those terms are now considered judgmental).

Talk about helping the middle class has nothing to do with the folks who marry, have kids, pay a mortgage, work at a job every day- nope, those people don’t need Government Help, they need a vibrant economy, so Big Gov has nothing to bribe them with.

Dolce Far Niente on September 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Ask Obama who is the greater enemy, ISIS or Republicans?

I believe Obama’s greatest enemidx are the conservatives and his FBI labeled “domestic” terrorists – you know, the one’s who want our leaders to follow the Constitution and our justices to mete out justice and not ideology.

Hope and Change has now become Despair and Chaos. But not to worry, the Republicans will grab defeat from the jaws of victory. And let’s not forget the non-existant voter fraud so prevalent in the Democrat’s arsenal.

iamsaved on September 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You missed the memo.

“Middle class” as currently used refers overwhelmingly to the entitlement class, the one’s we used to call disadvantaged or underprivileged (those terms are now considered judgmental).

Talk about helping the middle class has nothing to do with the folks who marry, have kids, pay a mortgage, work at a job every day- nope, those people don’t need Government Help, they need a vibrant economy, so Big Gov has nothing to bribe them with.

Dolce Far Niente on September 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Ah, gotcha.

Aizen on September 3, 2014 at 11:15 AM

I’m flabbergasted that the numbers are as good as they are for Obama. I guess this is what you get when 13 percent of the population is for you no matter what and a totally compliant media. No a cheerleading media.

jukin3 on September 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

wow 70% of l likely voters are racist.

phatfawzi on September 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

So the president will have “no choice” but to provide voting rights to all those illegals before 2016.

doufree on September 3, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Yeah, but the media are just now getting involved.

Just saw a report on TV about something Ted Cruz’s Dad said. Proof positive that the media are now in liberal campaign 2014 mode.

Moesart on September 3, 2014 at 12:23 PM

The enemies of this country are the ones in charge now and they have allowed the infiltration of the muslim enemy at all levels of this so called government. obama is a muslim sympathizer.

See the movie The Giver and see what a liberal utopia would look like, right down to killing babies and old people. The left is no better than isis. The left beheads babies in the womb and the elderly are not far behind.

crosshugger on September 3, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Oops! I guess Politico didn’t read its own poll before saying “no GOP wave!” the other day.

MTF on September 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Cry “Havoc”…!!
JohnGalt23 on September 3, 2014 at 9:09 AM

… and let slip the dogs of war.

Closet Optimist on September 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Every time I see this quote I think of General Chang from Star Trek 6.

Jack_Burton on September 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Correction from previous comment: 2010 electorate was D+0. My point stands.

Guy Benson on September 3, 2014 at 5:18 PM

I wish the Ron Paul freaks who truly believe there’s absolutely no difference between the parties would just go home. We don’t need you. We don’t want you. Just. Go. Away.

A bunch of whiners who want their way 100% of the time. Who seem to believe the power of one chamber of Congress is unlimited. Good grief.

MaggiePoo on September 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Elections have consequences.

So does incompetence.

Theophile on September 3, 2014 at 9:54 PM