In a few short weeks, Republicans have reversed their post-shutdown deficits in the polls, according to two new surveys, while Democrats have seen their public support tumble in the midst of the Obamacare debacle.
In a Quinnipiac University poll
conducted Nov. 6-11 of 2,545 registered voters, found that 39 percent would vote for a Democrat in their district if the congressional elections were held today, and the same percentage say they would vote for a Republican. Last month, Democrats had a 9-point lead, with 43 percent support compared to 34 percent for the GOP.
Meanwhile, a Fox News poll
conducted Nov. 10-12 of 1,006 registered voters also showed a dramatic positive shift for Republicans.
GOP support increased by 11 points since last month, when Democrats had an 8-point lead. If the congressional elections were held today, 43 percent of voters would back the Republican candidate compared to 40 percent who would support the Democrat.
Both polls indicate that the improvement for Republicans comes down mainly to a change of heart among independent voters. The Quinnipiac survey in October, for example, showed that independents favored Democrats, 32 percent to 30 percent, but now favor Republicans by 37 percent to 26 percent
The findings indicate that while voters blamed Republicans for the partial government shutdown, people have shifted their focus to the mounting problems with Obamacare.
Overall, the public continues disenchanted with the job lawmakers are doing in Washington, but congressional Republicans still are receiving lower job-approval ratings than Democrats.
In the Fox poll, just 21 percent of voters approve of the job congressional Republicans are doing compared to 73 percent who disapprove. By comparison, the Democrats get 29 percent approval versus 65 percent disapproval.
Results from the Quinnipiac poll are almost identical. Twenty percent of those surveyed approve of the way congressional Republicans are handling their jobs compared to 73 percent who disapprove. Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have a 30 percent approval rating compared to 62 percent who disapprove.
"In Washington today, it comes down to who the voters dislike the least," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "There are no heroes."
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