The nation's undecided voters could bring on a "Republican Senate tsunami" in November, say two Republican strategists, pointing to numbers gathered in surveys their company has been conducting in recent months.
"Can it get worse for the Democrats — a strong double-digit House gain for Republicans and a Republican Senate tsunami?" write pollsters Jim and John McLaughlin in an article for The National Review
. "A further analysis of the undecided vote says yes."
They explained that one out of every six voters — or 16 percent — remains undecided about who will get their votes for Congress. Meanwhile, those same voters disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing by 30-67 percent.
In addition, they disapprove of Obamacare by 62 percent to 29 percent, and even more, the undecided are saying they want a Republican congressman as a balance against Obama by 42 percent to 17 percent.
"The Republicans could take six in 10 of these undecided voters and have a national majority vote for Congress of about 52 percent," the McLaughlins write.
Pundits have been speculating for months about the potential for a six-year backlash, the pollsters said, similar to those in 2006 and 1986.
"Never before had we seen a Republican lead on the generic ballot for Congress, but that was the Republican generic-ballot lead in our September 1994 national poll," they wrote.
So far this year, the National Monthly McLaughlin Online Poll has remained relatively constant, and since January, most voters have been giving Obama a negative overall job rating. But Democrats held a slight, one or two point edge in a plurality lead until this month.
In addition, each month one in six voters was undecided, but couldn't say they would vote Republican.
However, this month the voters polled started shifting to the Republican side, and GOP candidates now lead on the generic ballot by 43 percent to 41 percent.
"Not a great lead and a long way from a trend, but the gravity of the president’s negative job rating, the parallel opposition to Obamacare, and the strong desire to put a check on the lame-duck president is beginning to create political momentum that could put Democrats under another tsunami," the pollsters write.
For example, in April, Obama had a negative job approval rating, by 47 percent approving and 52 percent disapproving. In May, approval fell to 44 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.
In addition, Obamacare's net approval rating worsened in May, dropping from 45 percent approving and 51 percent disapproving in April to 42 percent approving and 55 percent disapproving in May.
Further, in April, 47 percent of voters preferred their representative to be a Republican and a check on the president, while in May, 51 percent preferred a Republican.
Also, for the first time this year, the monthly generic ballot for Congress shifted to the Republican side, the pollsters said.
But there is a long time before November, and many things can change, they said.
"Maybe President Obama will change the election’s course by placing a moratorium on Obamacare and starting over," the McLaughlins said.
"Maybe he’ll approve the Keystone pipeline and approve more drilling offshore and on federal lands? Maybe he’ll compromise with Republicans to really secure the border and reduce illegal immigration by 90 percent? Maybe he’ll really put a freeze on Iran’s nuclear weapons? Or maybe the president will reinstate workfare for able-bodied adults to get welfare and food stamps?"
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