Hope and change: GOP even with Dems in party affiliation for first time since 2005

They’ve been within a point or two several times but the last month Republicans were dead even with Democrats (including leaners) was June 2005. It’s a huge swing from a month ago too, from 50/39 to 45/45. What gives? I’d love to say it was the tea parties but the April poll was taken several days after the rallies, not before. Nothing major’s happened in the last few weeks that would account for a sudden shift, either. I can only assume that the scope of Obama’s budget and what it means for future deficits has finally started to sink in. And with health care coming to the floor of the House, not a moment too soon.

There may be more to it than that, though. From Gitmo to jihadi interrogation to The One’s highly publicized visit to Notre Dame, the hottest hot-button issues the last few weeks all favor the GOP. Two tidbits from the new Fox News poll:

Just over half of Americans (55 percent) oppose transferring detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility to prison facilities in the United States…

The poll finds 49 percent of voters today describe themselves as “pro-life” and 43 percent as “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion. This is the first time more voters have described themselves as pro-life in the poll since April 2004.

The spread on abortion here is almost as wide as the spread in the much-celebrated Gallup poll last week. Barack Obama: The best thing ever to happen to the pro-life movement?

This wouldn’t really be an AP post without some sort of downbeat note to end on, so before you celebrate, have a look at this. Dude.

Update: CNN’s selling its own new poll as proof that abortion’s not hurting Obama but that’s not true. Sure, a majority says it hasn’t hurt him, but you don’t need a majority to shave a few points off his approval rating, just a sizable minority. Which is exactly what the poll shows:

Does the president’s position in favor of abortion rights have an impact on the public’s perception of him? More than half the country says no. Fifty-seven percent of Americans say the president’s position has no effect on their view of him. Twenty-seven percent say it makes them feel less favorably about him, and 14 percent say it makes them feel more positively about him.