Major Generic Polls Reflect GOP Wave

Tuesday, 10 Aug 2010 03:43 PM

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Republicans have cornered the market in generic ballot polls across all political spectrums, with a massive swing in Gallup’s most recent tally and a solid showing in Rasmussen Reports’ new figures.

In mid-July, shortly after the Senate passed the financial overhaul billed as corralling Wall Street, a Gallup poll showed Democrats leading Republicans, 49 to 43 percent, in voters' generic ballot preferences for the midterm elections.

But Gallup’s new statistics, for the week ended Sunday, Aug. 8, show that Republicans flipped those stats to steam to their own 49-43 percent edge. In effect, Gallup’s results swung 12 percentage points in a month.

Rasmussen results for the week ending Sunday gave Republicans 46 percent, compared with 39 percent for Democrats.

The average of the six polls that RealClearPolitics monitors — Rasmussen, Gallup, Fox News, Reuters/Ipsos, CNN/Opinion Research, and Quinnipiac — gives Republicans a six-point lead, 46.7 to 40.7 percent.

Generic ballots gauge likely voters’ inclination to vote for one party’s candidate against the other, regardless of personalities.

Although some might suggest that Fox News polls tilt conservative, and that’s why Republicans scored 47 percent to the Democrats’ 36 percent in the network’s July 27-28 poll, it’s harder to dismiss the massive swing in the Gallup poll over a month’s time.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen notes that Republicans have led on its generic ballot since the middle of 2009, and their lead hasn’t fall below five points since December, as it has in some other polls. On the other hand, Democrats had a seven-point lead when President Barack Obama was inaugurated.

This year, the two parties “were very close through the spring of 2009, but in June, around the time Democrats began their campaign for healthcare reform, Republicans pulled ahead for good,” Rasmussen says.

Other stats listed on RealClearPolitics’ compilations of the generic ballot polling find Republicans leading 43-38 percent in Quinnipiac data from July 13-16, and a five-point lead in July 16-21 findings from CNN/Opinion Research, which showed the parties at 49-44 percent.

Reuters/Ipsos figures from July 22 to July 25 gave Republicans their slimmest generic lead, at 46-44 percent.

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