GWU Bipartisan Battleground Poll Confirms GOP-Friendly Trends in Fall U.S. Senate Races September 3, 2014 Vol. VII, No. 22 2:13 pm All political pollsters agree that the response of voters to the question, “If the election were held today, would you vote for the Republican or the Democrat for Congress?” … also known
GWU Bipartisan Battleground Poll Confirms GOP-Friendly Trends in Fall U.S. Senate Races
September 3, 2014 Vol. VII, No. 22 2:13 pm
All political pollsters agree that the response of voters to the question, “If the election were held today, would you vote for the Republican or the Democrat for Congress?” … also known as the Generic Congressional Ballot question … is one of the best predictors of which party has an advantage during any given election year.
According to the new bipartisan-led national George Washington University Battleground Poll, the GOP has a 4-point lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot at the fall 2014 starting gate.
- GOP has a 16-point lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot in the states where there is a competitive U.S. Senate race (like North Carolina)
- Independent voters are trending GOP 41% to 26% Democratic; 33% undecided
- Republicans lead among Middle-Class voters by 11 points
- GOP has a 12-point lead among those “extremely likely to vote" (51% to 39%)
- 69% of Republicans are “extremely likely to vote;" 57% of Democrats
Over the last twenty years, the GWU Battleground Poll has become one of the country’s most reliable public opinion surveys. The new GWU Battleground Poll, released today, September 3, was led by GOP pollster Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. “Likely Voters” were surveyed from Aug 24 through Aug 28.
Economic issues driving country on Wrong Track to 70%
Among likely voters, 70% say the country is on the wrong track; most say that President Obama is responsible. That does not bode well for Democratic U.S. Senate candidates like North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, who is fending off the fact that she votes with Obama 95% of the time.
- 70% of voters feel the country has gotten off on the Wrong Track (Republicans 92%, Independents 70%, and Democrats 47%)
- Economy is the #1 issue driving voters to the polls this fall (including Independents, African-Americans and Latinos voters)
- 55% of voters Disapprove of Obama’s handling of the Economy; 44% Approve
- #1 reason the country is on Wrong Track: Issues with Obama’s lack of leadership
- Disapproval of the job President Obama is doing is high regarding his handling of the Federal Budget and Spending (61% disapprove), of Foreign Policy (58% disapprove), of Immigration (57% disapprove), on Working with Congress (57% disapprove)
Voters have more confidence in the GOP on the top issues
- GOP has a 7-point lead on confidence to deal with The Economy (49% to 42%); a 13-point lead on confidence to deal with the Federal Budget and Spending (51% to 38%); a 6-point lead on Taxes (48% to 42%); a 7-point lead on Immigration (48% to 41%); a 10-point lead on Foreign Policy (50% to 42%)
- Although Obama had solid leads "on confidence to deal with" Social Security (47% to 41%), Medicare (50% to 39%), Standing up for the Middle Class (52% to 37%), and Representing Middle-Class Values (51% to 39%), those are not the top issues in 2014.
Turnout favoring GOP by 12 points among most likely voters
- GOP has a 12-point lead among those “extremely likely to vote"
- 69% of Republicans are “extremely likely to vote;” 57% of Democrats
- Although Democrats lead among single women, younger voters and African Americans, their challenge in 2014 is overcoming the lack of enthusiasm among their base
- Only 49% of 18 to 29-year-olds and 48% of single women are “extremely likely to vote"
Midterm election years are a referendum on the White House
If you research the political adage, Midterm elections are a referendum on the White House, since 1910, during President Taft’s administration, the party in the White House has lost an average 30 seats in the U.S. House and 4 seats in the U.S. Senate during midterm elections. There has been only one exception during a second term, midterm election year like 2014: President Bill Clinton in 1998 (Democrats won 5 seats in U.S. House; Lost 0 in U.S. Senate).
If 2014 races are a referendum on President Obama, Democrats in battleground states like North Carolina’s Senator Kay Hagan, will likely lose to challengers like Thom Tillis, Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House. Add the GOP’s enthusiasm for voting this fall documented in today’s GWU Battleground Poll, and you can see the makings of a good year for the GOP.
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