Voters are more pro-GOP now than they were before the 2010 tea party wave drowned much of the progressives’ agenda in the November 2010 elections, according to a new survey.
Forty-seven percent of registered voters lean toward the GOP, compared to 44 percent who leaned toward the GOP in March 2010, according to the April survey by the Pew Research Center and USA Today.
That 47 percent rating puts them four points ahead of the Democratic Party’s current 43 percent support, said the report, titled “Midterm Election Indicators Daunting for Democrats.”
Historically, this “lean” question has skewed Democratic, and the GOP has won elections even when it has a lower score than the Democratic score.
The shift toward the GOP follows a crash in Democratic support since October, when President Barack Obama effectively admitted that he had lied when he told Americans his Obamacare network would let them keep their doctors. Before that admission, Democrats held a six-point lead, 49 percent to 43 percent, over the GOP in midterm voting preferences.
Only 31 percent of Democratic voters say they’ll vote in November to support President Barack Obama. That’s a big drop from his 47 percent support in 2010.
If the current numbers continue, the GOP may increase its majority in the House, and win the six Senate seats it needs to get a majority. It needs to win roughly 10 seats to keep a new Senate majority past the 2016 elections, because more Republican senators than Democratic senators are up for election in 2016.
But the polling numbers may change before November.
For example, the GOP leadership may split the party by pushing through a bill to boost the inflow of foreign workers. Also, the new poll doesn’t reveal whether the Democrats are successfully implementing their strategy of boosting turnout among voting groups — blacks, Latinos, gays, single women, environmentalists, poor people, union households — by staging emotional fights. Some Democrats are convinced this targeted strategy can keep the Senate under Democratic control, just as it kept Obama in the Oval Office after November 2012, despite the lousy economy.
Still, the top issues also help the GOP’s support among middle-class voters battered by the economy and stalled wages. Forty-eight percent say jobs is the most important issue in November, followed by health care at 42 percent and the deficit at 38 percent. That’s not a surprise, given the terrible state of the Obama economy and its impact on the middle class.
But the lower priority issues may spike critical turnout by subsectors. For example, immigration is deemed to be a top priority for 14 percent of the 1,501 adults and registered voters, and for 14 percent of Democratic voters. That 14 percent of Democrats is likely comprised of some progressives and some Latinos, who may turnout to vote despite their disappointment with the Obama economy.