2010 Electorate Still Looking More Republican Than in the Past
Predictions consistently have the Republicans picking up as many as 65+ seats in the House, and 8-9 seats in the Senate this year. I've tended to doubt those numbers over the summer, but it appears the push toward the GOP is gaining ground near the election, not losing it.Bottom Line
Gallup's recent tracking of the generic ballot for Congress has shown the Republicans with substantial leads over the Democrats among likely voters, in part because the underlying registered voter population leans Republican in its vote choice. Compared with previous elections, that tilt is an extraordinary positioning for the Republicans, who typically do no better than tie the Democrats among registered voters. The GOP's position is further enhanced by the generally strong proclivity of Republicans to turn out to vote, which appears to be even greater than usual this year.
In some important demographic respects -- namely, gender, age, and education -- 2010 midterm voters will be quite typical of past electorates. However, should the figures reported here hold through the final poll conducted this coming weekend, this will be only the second time in the last five midterm elections in which the majority of voters on Election Day were Republican in their party identification or leanings, likely exceeding the 51% found in 2002. Much of this is explained by a surge in Republican-leaning independents.
If you look at the chart, notable is that independents are leaning heavily toward the Republican side, and conservative Democrats look willing to just stay home this election. If so, this could be even uglier than they feared.
As Obama said, his "agenda is on the ballot." And with 3/4 of America vehemently opposed to what he's passed and pushed for to date, that doesn't bode well for Democrats at all.