The most recent generic Gallup tracking polls show Republicans still ahead in surveys by 5 points among registered voters 48% to 43%, and up to 17 points ahead among “likely voters.” This is up 2 percentage points from the previous two weeks, with Democrats actually dropping 2 points since then when both parties appeared to be tied. Gallup conducted interviews with 2,700 registered voters and 1,900 likely voters in the survey.
Should these survey results hold up on Election Day, observers are fairly confident that Republicans will win the majority in the House of Representatives.
“With the elections now only two weeks away, the key questions relating to the outcome are whether voters might still change their minds about which party to support, and whether Democrats’ motivation to vote will yet surge, enabling that party to narrow the gap among likely voters,” notes Gallup pollster Lydia Saad.
In related polling, the RealClearPolitics.com aggregator mirrors the Gallup findings, with 48% of voters supporting Republican candidates as opposed to less than 42% supporting Democrats. Another average shows only 22% of Americans approving of Congress, while 72% disapprove of the job they are doing. Nearly 31% of Americans believe the country is going in the right direction, as opposed to nearly 64% of Americans who don’t. And, President Barack Obama’s job approval numbers are slightly less than his disapproval numbers: 47% in contrast to 49%, respectively.
“U.S. voters’ preferences for the party they will support in this year’s House elections have been quite stable over the past three weeks, with Republicans leading by low single digits among registered voters,” observes Saad. “They lead by substantially more than that among likely voters, including both high-turnout and typical-turnout scenarios.”
The polling numbers still don’t bode well for Democrats as they brace for significant losses in the upcoming midterm elections. That said, some observers note there could be a surge in the Democratic base voters, reflected in recent online fundraising and direct mail contributions and signs of renewed interest from African American voters.
And in another CBS News-Knowledge Works poll just dropped, only two-thirds of President Obama’s supporters say there are likely to vote Democrat in the 2010 cycle, compared to 8 percent of that bloc who say they’ll vote Republican and 22% who are undecided. Only 42% of those independent voters polled who voted for Obama in 2008 say they’ll vote Democrat in 2010, with 12% leaning Republican and 38% undecided.
However, Democrats are placing hopes in the large number of undecideds that are showing up in many recent polls, particularly in races thrown in the toss-up column.
A recent analysis Jeff Zeleny in the New York Times suggests other problems for Democrats in the South as trends show many White voters in those regions leaning to the right and voting Republican. “From Virginia to Florida and South Carolina to Texas, nearly two dozen Democratic seats are susceptible to a potential Republican surge in Congressional races on Election Day, leaving the party facing a situation where its only safe presence in the South is in urban and predominantly black districts,” says Zeleny.