President Barack Obama’s awful October, which began with his desultory debate performance Oct. 3, is hurting House Democratic candidates along with his own campaign.
When Obama was in ascendancy just before the debate, some Democrats thought they might be able to take back control of the House. That was a long shot then, given that Democrats need to capture 25 seats to gain a majority. And now it’s pretty much impossible, experts say.
Democrats led Republicans 48 to 45 percent in a generic congressional poll taken by National Public Radio Sept. 26-30. But in the latest major generic poll, taken Oct. 15-21 by Rasmussen Reports, Republicans lead 44 to 43 percent, reports Politico
Generic polls tend to understate the strength of incumbents, because people who might choose one party in a generic ballot frequently support their own representative, even if he/she is a member of the opposite party.
Given that more Republicans than Democrats are incumbents, the GOP’s position is likely stronger than the Rasmussen survey indicates.
Even Democrats acknowledge the impact of Obama’s disastrous debate showing. “The first debate was the greatest movement I’ve seen in polls since Sept. 11, 2001,” Dave Beattie, a Democratic pollster who works for many congressional candidates, told Politico.
“There is not one race at any level, from county chairman to Senate, where the president’s performance didn’t have an impact.”
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