Aug 31 2010
Never has Gallup’s congressional generic poll shown such a large lead for the GOP:
Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP’s largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup’s history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.
Being a poll of registered voters, not the typically more GOP-leaning likely voters, means that the GOP lead for congress is even larger than this historic 10% level implies. The likely voter model would have to take into account the GOP’s edge in enthusiasm (i.e., who is going to actually go out and vote):
Republicans are now twice as likely as Democrats to be “very” enthusiastic about voting [50-25%], and now hold — by one point — the largest such advantage of the year.
That 25% lead in enthusiasm is incredible, and also must be near all-time historic highs. As I predicted in early August, it will be getting much bleaker for democrats in the coming weeks, as Gallup (and other pollsters) move from polls of ‘adults‘ and ‘registered voters‘ to the ‘likely voter‘ models:
Republicans usually turn out in higher numbers in midterm elections than do Democrats, and Gallup’s likely voter modeling in the final weeks of an election typically reflects a larger GOP advantage than is evident among registered voters. The wide enthusiasm gaps in the GOP’s favor so far this year certainly suggest that this scenario may well play itself out again this November.
Republicans’ presumed turnout advantage, combined with their current 10-point registered-voter lead, suggests the potential for a major “wave” election in which the Republicans gain a large number of seats from the Democrats and in the process take back control of the House. One cautionary note:Â Democrats moved ahead in Gallup’s generic ballot for several weeks earlier this summer, showing that change is possible between now and Election Day.
Here is how I interpreted the strange, short period of Democrats polling in the lead this summer that Gallup notes in caution:
This frustration [with] the deaf political industrial complex is resulting in a major tuning out of politics while people salvage what they can from their summer vacations. I suspect a major portion of the electorate is no longer accessible to pollsters, the very same portion ready to vote the bums outÂ en masse.
That is not to say these angry voters will not reengage this year. These people will be back in the fall with a vengeance, and probably back in the polls as early as mid September (once the kids are back into the groove of school).
In this last week of Wreckovery Summer, it seems the frustrated voter may be engaging sooner than I thought. Even Gallup is now calling this a ‘wave’ election year. And as I have said for months now, the prime difference between 1994 and 2010 is the economic back drop to the liberal overreaching in Congress. In 1994 the economy was accelerating towards one of its peak periods in history. That back drop attenuated the backlash of voters against the liberal/progressive policies attempted under Bill Clinton. This time around, President Obama has no such economic cushion. And he is no Bill Clinton either.
This time around, 1994 is going to seem like a fond memory for the Democrat Party.
Update: Allahpundit at Hot Air starts to come around to the idea the GOP may not just take control of the House, they may decimate the Democrat caucus:
I keep thinking that people like Mark Halperin are crazy to believe that Republicans could pick up as many as 60 seats. Then I see generic-ballot polls like this donâ€™t know what to think. Skyâ€™s the limit?
To put this in perspective, until this month, the biggest lead the GOP had held in the history of Gallupâ€™s polling was â€¦ five points.
So what is the likely voter model showing – a 12-15% lead for the GOP? Pollster.com notes that these numbers already portend something on the order of a 50 seat gain for the GOP, or higher:
So while the “unprecedented 10-point lead” reported by Gallup probably exaggerates the Republican lead, any result showing a net Republican advantage on the so-called generic ballot is bad news for Democrats. Bafumi and his colleagues estimated their 50-seat gain for the Republicans assuming a two-point advantage for Republicans on the generic ballot, which they project will widen to a six-point lead by November. If the Republican lead on the generic ballot is already that wide (or close), their projection for the Democrats would worsen.
Pollster.com is already showing a 5 point lead for the GOP, which would equate to a helluva lot more than 50 seat pick up. Politico is calling it a Tidal Wave year. As I noted recently, we are just now seeing the Â rising tip of the tsunami.