I’m starting to run out of adjectives to describe these poll results.
Ninety-two percent of Americans say the economy’s in bad shape. A mere 24 percent believe it’s improving. And for the first time numerically more say Obama’s economic program has made the economy worse, 33 percent, than improved it, 30 percent. Views that he’s helped the economy have dropped by 9 points since spring.
A majority, 52 percent, now disapproves of the way Obama is handling his job overall, another first in ABC/Post polls. Intensity increasingly is against him, with those who disapprove “strongly” outnumbering strong approvers by 14 points. A record 57 percent rate him negatively on handling the economy, “strongly” so by an even wider margin, 2-1.
Seventy-eight percent now describe themselves as dissatisfied with the way the federal government is working, up 14 points just since July to the most since October 1992. That includes 25 percent who are “angry,” tying the record. Among likely voters, 30 percent are angry and they favor Republican candidates by a vast 47-point margin.
National and local polls continue to show further deterioration in Democratic prospects. Given that, we are increasing our target of likely Republican gains from 28-33 seats to 37-42 seats, with the caveat that substantially larger GOP gains in the 45-55 seat range are quite possible. The next few weeks will be crucial, as Democratic incumbents seek to drive up Republican challengers’ negatives and strengthen their standing in ballot tests.
From three political scientists, writing in, of all places, the Huffington Post:
How many House seats will the Republicans gain in 2010? To answer this question, we have run 1,000 simulations of the 2010 House elections. The simulations are based on information from past elections going back to 1946. Our methodology replicates that for our ultimately successful forecast of the 2006 midterm. Two weeks before Election Day in 2006, we posted a prediction that the Democrats would gain 32 seats and recapture the House majority. The Democrats gained 30 seats in 2006. Our current forecast for 2010 shows that the Republicans are likely to regain the House majority. Our preliminary 2010 forecast will appear (with other forecasts by political scientists) in the October issue of PS: Political Science. By our reckoning, the most likely scenario is a Republican majority in the neighborhood of 229 seats versus 206 for the Democrats for a 50-seat loss for the Democrats. Taking into account the uncertainty in our model, the Republicans have a 79% chance of winning the House.