Democrats say low approval ratings for Republicans will keep them from taking over Congress in November. One pundit says that’s not going to be a factor.
A recent poll shows that the standing of the Republican party is at one of the lowest points it’s ever been. The Wall St. Journal poll also shows that Republicans are much less popular than Democrats with only 24% of Americans giving the GOP a favorable rating while 32% give Democrats a favorable rating. The Hill reports that Democrats say this will stop any “wave” election favoring Republicans.
"The NBC/WSJ poll shows that not only is the Republican Party’s image at its lowest point ever in their polling, their ratings are still lower than Democrats and their party image has worsened much more than the Democrats when compared with the last mid-term elections in 2006," (pollster Joel) Benenson wrote.
Benenson's memos focuses on topline public opinion for Republicans. But many generic congressional matchups between Democrats and GOP candidates have shown Republicans even in the polls — if not a bit ahead. Many voters express different opinions on their own lawmakers and candidates that differ from their national opinion about candidates, too.
The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait isn’t buying it. He says that the biggest factor is the “turnout gap” which favors Republicans.
Republican constituencies are more likely to turn out in midterm elections in general. And Republicans are far more enthusiastic about voting than Democrats (though the gap could well narrow somewhat by November.) The combination of those two factors portends an electorate far more Republican than the one that voted in 2008.
The NBC/WSJ poll does not attempt to suss out likely voters. It's not even limited to registered voters. It's a poll of all adults. That gives it a nice, small-d democratic value as a gauge of the opinion of the citizenry, but it's not a good measure of the people who will be voting this fall.
Chait says it is a small comfort that Americans like Democrats more than Republicans, but when it comes to elections, voters hold the incumbent party responsible for the condition of the country.