The new poll from the Post gives some perspective on the stories of the Democrats’ comeback. (Perhaps that warrants air quotes.) Their base, depressed and frustrated earlier in the year, is coming home in some significant numbers. But that won’t be enough to cancel out enormous GOP base enthusiasm and a lopsided Republican advantage among independents.
Among likely voters, Republicans hold a six-point edge, 49 percent to 43 percent, on the congressional ballot. At this time four years ago, Democrats led by 12 points. Then, Democrats also held a 19-point advantage when voters were asked which party they trusted to deal with the country’s main problems. Today, the public is almost evenly divided on that question, nearly matching public sentiment in October 1994, the last time Republicans won both the House and the Senate.
Looking toward Nov. 2, Republicans still hold two significant advantages. The poll shows that Republicans are paying closer attention to the elections than are Democrats. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans call the 2010 elections more important to the country than others in their lifetime. A similar proportion of Republicans say it would be a “good thing” if the GOP won back control of Congress; only about half of Democrats see that potential result as a “bad thing.”
A Republican Congress: Even some Democrats recognize we need it.
The Obama rebound they mention puts his job approval/disapproval split at 50/47, not exactly a great ratio.