Today, Labor Day marks the traditional start of the campaigning season. With only 56 days till election day, the GOP seems to be widening its generic advantage over the President's party of progressive Democrats. According to the latest CNN Poll, the Republican Party has opened up a seven point lead with registered voters in the generic congressional poll (last month the lead was only 3%).
What seems to be happening is that the undecideds are breaking for the GOP as their percentage increased to 52% and the Democratic preference stayed at 45%.
The GOP should not throw a party. When it comes to favorability ratings, both parties are not viewed unfavorably by 49% of the population.
Trend wise the CNN generic numbers tend to match the trends seen by Gallup and Rasmussen . The chart below shows the trends of each of the three sources from April through Today. The CNN dates were used as a base and the Rasmussen and Gallup numbers were matched to CNN. In some cases the Gallup or Rasmussen poll dates were a day or two off but since the purpose of the chart was to evaluate the trend, this was deemed close enough.
There are six lines on the chart, each of the blue lines, is the generic Democratic Party preference for each of the polls, and the Red are the GOP Preferences. (if you click on the chart you will be able to see a larger version).
Generally we see that the GOP had a small lead around tax day, but in June when the GOP started its "recovery summer" effort the lead began to shrink, but when it became obvious the economic situation is getting worse, the GOP has increased its lead and is indeed much larger than before.
What does this mean? Generally America wants Obama's policies to fix the economy. At the first sign of economic improvement, their generic congressional preferences changed. The Democratic Party saw this and began their Recovery summer effort. But when things turned sour, Voters began to realize that they were once again being promised a recovery that wasn't happening and, I believe, they have given up on promises from this administration. That doesn't mean that if things turn around voters wont turn around, but it probably means that it will take results rather than program promises to turn voters around again.