Gallup – Generic Ballot: GOP 48%, Dems 43%

Forty-eight percent of registered voters favor Republican congressional candidates and 43% favor Democratic candidates in Gallup’s national generic ballot for the week of Sept. 6-12.

2010 Trend: Vote Preferences in 2010 Congressional Elections, Based on Registered Voters

Registered-voter preferences for Congress since the beginning of August have averaged 48% for Republican candidates and 43% for Democratic candidates, identical to this week’s results. While there have been a few instances in recent months when the Republicans were not ahead to at least some degree — including in mid-July, when the Democrats were up by six percentage points, and last week, when the parties were tied at 46% — the broad picture has generally been positive for the Republicans.

Currently, 90% of Democratic voters plan to vote for the Democratic congressional candidate in their district, while 96% of Republicans favor the Republican, matching the highest level of Republican loyalty Gallup has found all year. Independents continue to favor Republican over Democratic candidates, now by a 10-point margin, 44% to 34%.

Bottom Line

The current five-point Republican edge on the generic ballot falls just short of statistical significance on the basis of one week’s polling. However, if this Republican positioning holds through October, it would point to major seat gains for that party. Republicans can also expect to perform at least several points better on Election Day due to their party’s usual midterm turnout advantage, meaning that even a tie among registered voters would be highly auspicious for the GOP.

Given the ongoing Republican lead over Democrats in voter enthusiasm, as well as in recent Gallup data showing Republicans giving more thought to the elections, the GOP seems on track to receive that turnout advantage this November.

Read more from Lydia Saad at Gallup

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