Democrats had a 23-point lead over Republicans in every group of people questioned — likely voters, registered voters and adults — on which party’s House candidate would get their vote. That’s double the lead Republicans had a month before they seized control of Congress in 1994 and the Democrats’ largest advantage among registered voters since 1978.Nearly three in 10 registered voters said their representative doesn’t deserve re-election — the highest level since 1994. President Bush’s approval rating was 37% in the new poll, down from 44% in a Sept. 15-17 poll. And for the first time since the question was asked in 2002, Democrats did better than Republicans on who would best handle terrorism, 46%-41%.
Approval of Congress has plunged to its lowest level in more than a decade (32 percent), and Americans, by a margin of 54 percent to 35 percent, say they trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with the biggest problems the nation is confronting. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said congressional Democrats deserve to be reelected next month, but just 39 percent said Republicans deserve to return to office.
With four weeks left in the campaign, GOP strategists, speaking on background, have begun to outline a highly gloomy view of the House election for their party.
They are all but writing off GOP open seats in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida (the one previously held by Foley). Party officials said that three GOP incumbents in Indiana are trailing in private polling and that seats thought safe suddenly appear imperiled. These include the open Florida seat vacated by Rep. Katherine Harris, who is running for senator. “It is unquestionably closer than we would like,” said Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.).
On the slightly brighter side. There’s this:
Democrats said internal polls show that the fallout from the Foley scandal is confined to half a dozen races.
With the decline in gasoline prices, Americans are somewhat more positive about the economy, with 47 percent describing it as good or excellent — the highest since July 2001 — and 53 percent saying it is not so good or poor. Forty-one percent approve of how Bush has handled economic issues, about the same percentage as in August.
UPDATE: Here’s a take-down of the Post poll:
The Demographics of the WP poll are even more ridiculous. In that poll, Democrat respondents outnumber GOP respondents by a full 11% (38-27%). Plus, 3 of the 4 nights in the WP poll are weekends, and the poll director of the WP has previously admitted that weekend polls favor Democrats.
And yes, the numbers in both polls are dismal for the GOP, except that these polls are meaningless because we don’t know the Congressional districts of the respondents. Only about 40 CD races are competitive. Where are the respondents in these polls from?