Conventional wisdom about this midterm election is that while Democrats are defending difficult turf in the Senate and face possible substantial losses, the redistricting after the 2010 census eliminated significant numbers of meaningfully competitive House seats, which should prevent an equivalent wave from forming in the House. The way the generic Congressional vote polls are starting to look, the Democrats better hope that this is true.
CBS/New York Times released a poll today showing Republicans enjoying a 7 point lead in the generic Congressional vote. This marks the second consecutive non-Rasmussen poll showing this exact lead for the GOP in House races. Now, generic ballot polling should always be taken with several grains of salt for a lot of well-rehearsed reasons. But it is worth noting a worsening trend. Throughout July and August, the Democrats appeared to be holding ground or even leading in generic ballot polling, which led them to believe that they could at least hold serve in the House races. However, in the last month, the GOP has suddenly opened a real and widening lead.
By way of reference, at this point in 2010, the RCP average was about exactly what these last two polls show, giving Republicans about a 7 point margin that was noted to be widening – it finished at R + 9.4 which translated to an actual vote at the polls of R + 6.8, which led to actual electoral gains of 60+ seats in the House. It goes without saying that after the debacle of 2012, it is difficult to place an inordinate amount of faith in polls, and I highly doubt that the GOP will pick up anything like 60 seats, almost no matter how wide the gap gets. But even a gain of 20 or 30 seats would be devastating for the Democrats and change the entire agenda and focus for the upcoming 2016 races.
Its probably too early to call this a definite wave still, but things look increasingly ugly for the Dems.