Republicans Slip From Unprecedented Lead to a Tie in Gallup Survey

Posted September 7, 2010 at 6:33pm

Democrats and Republicans are now tied in Gallup’s weekly tracking of voter preferences, just a week after Republicans took an unprecedented l0-point lead.

Last week’s survey results showed that 51 percent of registered voters preferred Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections, while 41 percent preferred Democrats. This week’s survey shows the parties tied at 46 percent, ending Republicans’ five consecutive weeks in the lead.

The 10-point gap last week was the largest lead for the GOP since Gallup began tracking the midterm generic ballot in 1942.

This week’s “results reflect more competitive voting intentions than has been the case recently,” Gallup said in releasing its data. However, the Gallup report said, even the tie bodes well for Republicans because of the party’s typically higher voter turnout in midterm elections.

Gallup also has registered no change in the enthusiasm gap among voters, with the GOP maintaining a 25-point lead on the question of how motivated people are to go to the polls in November.

The survey was taken Aug. 30 to Sunday and polled a random sample of more than 1,650 registered voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The tied generic ballot was a slice of good news for Democrats on Tuesday, the same day that a new Washington Post/ABC News poll provided further evidence that the party faces an increasingly tough political climate.

The Post/ABC poll found Republicans statistically tied with Democrats on the question of which party voters trust more to run the country. It was the first time that has happened in four years and came just three months after a poll found Democrats with a 12-point advantage. The poll also found the GOP ahead by a 13-point margin in the generic ballot test.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee circulated the new Gallup numbers Tuesday evening, calling them a reality check for prognosticators who spent the Labor Day weekend fueling talk of an increasingly gloomy political outlook for House Democrats. Earlier Tuesday, the committee released new polling data in several top races that showed Democratic incumbents in relatively good standing.

“With eight weeks until Election Day, Republicans and Beltway pundits may want to hold off on calling the race for the House before voters cast their ballots,” DCCC spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said.