Gallup has breathed the unthinkable. Republicans have a shot a retaking the House. Of course, one has to presume that such a result would mean the White House is thrown in for good measure.
The positive impact of the GOP convention on polling indicators of Republican strength is further seen in the operation of Gallup’s “likely voter” model in this survey. Republicans, who are now much more enthused about the 2008 election than they were prior to the convention, show heightened interest in voting, and thus outscore Democrats in apparent likelihood to vote in November. As a result, Republican candidates now lead Democratic candidates among likely voters by 5 percentage points, 50% to 45%. If these numbers are sustained through Election Day — a big if — Republicans could be expected to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives..
But there is also more bad news for the Dems. Congressional approval ratings are in the historical range where the party in power gets tossed into the street.
The last time the yearly average for approval of Congress approached this low a level was in 2006, when the Republicans lost majority control of Congress after 12 years in power. The previous occasion was in 1994, when the Republicans wrested control from the Democrats. In both of these midterm election years, the average congressional approval score was 25%. However, with an 18% approval rating for Congress in 1992, the Democrats succeeded in holding their majority in Congress. That was a presidential year in which the Democratic candidate, Bill Clinton, won.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Republicans were blown out of office in 2006 with a 67/25 Disapproval/Approval rating, a spread of 42 points. In 2 years the Democrats have expanded the disapproval spread to 73/20, or 53 points, an additional 11 points of disapproval. If the GOP was booted with their numbers, what strategist in their right mind would conclude that the Dems can hold Congress this year?
The one-two punch of Sarah Palin as jet fuel for the Republicans and the Democrats who utterly refuse to govern, may make this year one for the record books.
Also find Bill Dupray at The Patriot Room