The political tides are turning against Democrats, the first ever Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll released Thursday found.
The poll was conducted to help predict not only the results of the 2010 midterm elections, but also the 2012 presidential elections.
Of the registered voters surveyed, 45 percent believed Republicans would take control of the House if the midterm elections were held today. The Republicans fared equally well in the Senate – 46 percent of survey respondents believed the GOP would take control of the Senate if the elections were held today. But the Democratic Party and the GOP are tied, 43 percent to 43 percent, when matched in a generic congressional ballot. A generic ballot is a measure of voters who say they intend to vote for either the Republican or Democratic candidate in their district.
The poll found that Americans feel the economy and jobs are key issues going into November.
Jim VandeHei, the executive editor of Politico, and Christopher Arterton, a professor of political management at the Graduate School of Political Management, moderated the event. Politico joined GW to publish the Battleground Poll earlier this month.
Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said the Democratic Party is suffering from an “enthusiasm gap” following the peak in excitement during President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.
“Turnout is clearly the number one issue out there for Democrats right now,” Lake said.
From the Republican perspective, things are looking much better. Ed Goeas, a pollster for the Republican Party, said Republicans have an “8-point advantage” over the Democrats on all issues.
More than two-thirds, or 64 percent, of both Republican and Democrat voters said they disapproved of the work that Congress is doing this year.
Nearly 46 percent of voters said the economy and jobs were the most important issues for the House and the Senate to work on this year.
About 40 people attended the morning discussion of the poll results in the Jack Morton Auditorium. Some students said witnessing the University release its high-profile survey is a unique experience only GW students can relate to.
“I find it interesting to see real people, real experts talking about the issues that I care about,” freshman Daniel Edwards said.