Things Looking Up For The GOP?

One may well think so after having read this:

Just as the economic news was relentlessly negative until the last few days, poll numbers for Republicans were horrific for months. So the GOP should be heartened by the first encouraging polling news it has received perhaps since Lehman Brothers defaulted in mid-September: Republicans have pulled even with Democrats on the generic congressional ballot test, according to a survey by a respected pair of firms.

In the new National Public Radio poll conducted by the Democratic polling company Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and its Republican counterpart, Public Opinion Strategies, 42 percent of the 800 likely voters surveyed March 10 to 14 said that if the next congressional election were held today they would vote for the Republican candidate; an identical percentage of respondents said they would vote for the Democratic one. For several years, Democrats held a substantial lead on this question.

Democrats still outnumbered Republicans in terms of party identification in this poll by 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent. Democrats also favored their own party’s congressional candidates 83 percent to 7 percent. But voters who call themselves independents gave GOP candidates the edge by 14 points, 38 percent to 24 percent. And self-identified Republicans supported their own party’s candidates 85 percent to 3 percent.

Republican pollster Glen Bolger, who worked on the survey for Public Opinion Strategies, says that this is the first time since 2004 that he has seen independents favoring Republicans on the generic ballot test. Although he concedes that poll participants agreed — by margins of 6 to 11 points — with Democrats more than Republicans on each of the issues tested, he contends that the generic question’s results are “evidence that voters, particularly independents, are worried that they overcorrected in the 2006/2008 elections combined, and now have more of a liberal slant to government than they want. They want change but with checks and balances.”

There is a lot more at the link, which ought to give cheer to Republicans as preparations are made for the 2010 midterm elections. My New Ledger colleague Brad Jackson takes a look at the political lay of the land and finds that Rasmussen too has Republicans ahead on the generic ballot. And investors love Republicans. Of course, Congress is enjoying surprisingly good poll ratings and the Gallup poll Brad is looking at still has the President enjoying strongly favorable ratings–though, it should be mentioned that many other polls have Barack Obama’s numbers falling to Earth. Bottom line: There is a lot of play in the joints, but those who believed the GOP to be as good as dead may need to eat their words.

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