GOP Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot

GOP Takes Unprecedented 10-Point Lead on Generic Ballot

Republicans also maintain wide gap in enthusiasm about voting

By Frank Newport
Gallup

PRINCETON, NJ — Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP’s largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup’s history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.

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These results are based on aggregated data from registered voters surveyed Aug. 23-29 as part of Gallup Daily tracking. This marks the fifth week in a row in which Republicans have held an advantage over Democrats — one that has ranged between 3 and 10 points.

The Republican leads of 6, 7, and 10 points this month are all higher than any previous midterm Republican advantage in Gallup’s history of tracking the generic ballot, which dates to 1942. Prior to this year, the highest such gap was five points, measured in June 2002 and July 1994. Elections in both of these years resulted in significant Republican gains in House seats.

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Large leads on the generic ballot are not unprecedented for Democrats. The widest generic ballot lead in Gallup’s history was 32 points in the Democrats’ favor, measured in July 1974, just prior to Republican President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal. This large margin illustrates Democrats’ historic dominance over Republicans in registered voters’ party identification in the decades since World War II. Democrats controlled the House of Representatives continually between 1955 and 1995, and routinely held generic ballot leads in the double digits during that period.

Republicans Have 25-Point Lead on Enthusiasm

Republicans are now twice as likely as Democrats to be “very” enthusiastic about voting, and now hold — by one point — the largest such advantage of the year.

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Tom Tillison

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