Ed flagged the Gallup numbers on The One in an update earlier but it deserves a bit more prominence given the two trend lines. The closer they get, the less leverage he has over Blue Dogs wavering on the public option. Especially after they see this:

Republican candidates have now matched their biggest lead over Democrats of the past several years on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 43% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

The level of support for Democratic candidates is unchanged this week, but backing for GOP candidates rose one point from a week ago. This is now the eighth straight week Republicans have led on the Generic Ballot…

For the second time in three weeks, women favor Republicans slightly more than Democrats, 41% to 39%. Men prefer the GOP by a 45% to 36% margin this week.

Among voters not affiliated with either party continue to strongly favor the GOP, 45% to 18%.

Follow the link and note the shifts over the past six months. The parties trade leads every few weeks or so until late June — around the time ObamaCare started heating up — at which point the GOP takes control. Proof that DeMint was right about health care being his Waterloo? Or is the summer trend towards Republicans better explained as a reaction to the economy, with the public finally resigning itself to the fact that the stimulus has brought neither Hope nor Change? Exit question via Matthew Continetti: How can it be that the GOP’s fortunes are improving while the Democrats are struggling in the midst of the great march to universal health care? The left told us last year was a “realignment” ushering in the new golden age of liberalism. And yet not a day passes when our newly deep-blue country doesn’t endure some story about Blue Dog Democrats cowering at town halls or wringing their hands about a public option for fear of what’ll happen to them in the midterms. When does the realignment begin, exactly?