Gallup: Democrats Open Huge Lead in Election Outlook

By: E&P Staff

The fallout from the Foley scandal, and wide media coverage of it, continues to rock poltiics — and the odds on the upcoming midterm election, a new Gallup poll shows. The generic Gallup ballot in which party voters say who they favor in the elections now shows a mammoth Demcratic lead of 23%.

“The Democrats have not performed this well in a Gallup midterm election test since they enjoyed large congressional majorities in the 1970s,” Gallup observed on Wednesday.

Voters favor Democrats in their congressoinal district by 59% to 36% over Republicans, voters said this past weekend.

Editorials around the country have hit the GOP leadership hard in its handling of charges that former Rep. Mark Foley had improper contacts with congressional pages.

Perhaps crucially, some 47%, say they are certain to vote Democratic in the House elections, Gallup reveals today. Just 26% are committed Republican voters, leaving 25% of voters up for grabs (the remaining 2% plan to support third-party candidates). “If the current political environment does not change dramatically before Election Day, Republicans are looking at a situation where they would need to win almost all of the swing voters to win the majority of the congressional vote,” Gallup reports.

Gallup claims that the generic ballot has proven to be a highly accurate predictor of the national congressional vote, particularly in midterm elections. Prior to the current poll, Democrats averaged an 11-point lead on the generic congressional ballot this year, with a high of 16 points in June. Democrats, and one that has grown in recent weeks.

“Only 37% of Americans currently have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, one of the lowest readings for the Republicans in the last 15 years,” Gallup relates.

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