Washington Post Poll Gives GOP Edge For Midterms

Of course, the final poll will be cast next Tuesday

(Washington Post) Republicans entered the final week of the midterm campaign holding higher ground than Democrats, aided by public dissatisfaction with President Obama’s leadership, the direction of the country and the federal government’s ability to deal with major problems, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Driving attitudes is a pervasive sense of a nation in trouble. Overwhelming majorities say the country is badly off track and give the economy negative ratings. Economic expectations are little better today than they were at this time four years ago.

People disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy 52-42%.

68% say country is on wrong track, compared to 28% who say on right track.

53% say the the federal government’s ability to deal with problems has gotten worse under Obama, compared to only 11% who say it has gotten better.

72% have a negative opinion of the economy, with 28% saying it is poor, the worst category. 27% say is it positive, but only 1% say it is excellent

Six in 10 say they cannot trust the government in Washington to do what is right — the same as a year ago in the aftermath of the government shutdown and the botched rollout of the federal Web site for the Affordable Care Act.

With multiple crises confronting the country — including the spread of Ebola in West Africa and cases here at home, as well as threats from Islamic State militants — a majority now says the government’s ability to deal with big problems has declined in the past few years. Among those who say this, more — by 3 to 1 — blame Obama and the Democrats than fault Republicans in Congress.

There is also a lot more interest in the election amongst Republicans than Democrats

Republicans appear to have more enthusiasm about voting, based on those who say they are certain to vote. And more people who voted for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 say they are closely following the midterms, compared with those who say they voted for Obama. Democrats are hoping to counter that enthusiasm gap with a get-out-the-vote operation that is aimed at persuading sporadic voters to cast ballots.

When asked whether they will vote for the Democrat or the Republican in their House districts, 50 percent of likely voters say the Republican and 44 percent say the Democrat. Among the larger universe of registered voters, Democrats have an edge — 47 percent to 44 percent. That swing of nine points between registered and likely voters is identical to the difference recorded at this point in 2010.

Being “registered” is meaningless if they do not intend to vote. And, if the numbers hold up, there could be a big sweep for the GOP. What’s even more dangerous for Democrats is that the survey has a partisan breakdown of 32% Democrat, 24% Republican, and 36% Independent. This could mean a big swing of Independents over to the GOP.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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