Um, maybe things won’t be so bad on election day

But there are two patterns in today’s polls that indicate voters might still be listening and just might be open to supporting Democrats. In our latest national poll, we found that the Republican Party and the Republicans in Congress are as unpopular as the Democrats — unusual for a party riding a wave of support. With Republican candidates like Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul and Carl Paladino dominating the spotlight, Republicans find themselves no more appealing to voters now than they were in 2008.

In addition, there are signs that voters are still open to hearing from Democrats. An NPR poll that surveys likely voters in key House districts found this month that a Democratic message focused on the middle class and American jobs won out over a Republican message of deficit reduction and wasteful spending. (Disclosure: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner helped conduct this survey.) True, voters are not particularly moved by Democratic messages about Republican extremism or the policies that produced the recession. But they are open to hearing about how to repair the economy and put Americans back to work. This is surprising, because voters normally tune out the party they want to punish at the polls.