August 19, 2010

GIVEN HOW LITTLE HE ENJOYS THE JOB AND THAT HE'S ALREADY ADDED THE LINE TO HIS RESUME...:

Polls Predict Big GOP Gains in Congress (Fred Barnes, August 19, 2010, Weekly Standard)

As of August 18, President Obama’s job performance was approved by 41 percent and disapproved by 52 percent, the worst showing of his presidency. Republicans had a 50 percent to 43 percent advantage on the generic ballot, which asks respondents whether they intend to vote for a Republican or Democrat for the House of Representatives. Gallup’s August polls involve registered voters. The polls closer to an election were narrowed to likely voters, a group that tends to be slightly more Republicans than all registered voters.

The general rule has been that when a president’s rating dips into the mid-to-low 40s (or lower), his party is likely to lose a substantial number of House seats in a midterm election and some in the Senate as well. And this trend is reinforced when the opposition party is ahead on the generic ballot.

In 2006, President Bush’s approval was 42 percent in mid-August and fell to 37 percent in the final poll before election day. In August, Democrats led Republicans, 47 percent to 45 percent, on which party’s candidate was preferred. The final, pre-election poll gave Democrats an advantage of 51 percent to 44 percent. The election result: Democrats won 31 House and 6 Senate seats, capturing control of both bodies.

In 1994, President Clinton’s approval rose from 40 percent in August to 46 percent in early November. But the Republican lead on the generic question also rose, from 47 percent to 44 percent in August to 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent in November. The result: Republicans gained 54 seats in the House, 8 in the Senate, winning a majority in both chambers.

In 1982, President Reagan’s performance in office was approved by 41 percent in August and 42 percent in late October. Democrats had a whopping 54 percent to 36 percent advantage in August and a 55 percent to 45 percent lead in October. The result: Democrats won 27 House seats but lost one in the Senate.

Why didn’t Democrats win more seats in 1982, given the strength reflected in poll numbers? With 242 House seats before the election, they were near their high water mark, post-Depression, in the size of their majority. By boosting it to 269 seats, Democrats erased most of their losses in 1980.

Based on poll comparisons – similarities, actually – Republicans ought to pick up dozens of House seats and at least a handful of Senate seats this fall. In fact, it would be difficult for them not to do this well.

For the most part, the poll numbers in 2006, 1994, and 1982 changed little between August and November. That’s the usual pattern. The numbers aren’t likely to change in 2010 either.


...would anyone be surprised if the UR decided not to run for re-election?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 19, 2010 6:29 AM
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