Democrats circulated a memo arguing that public opinion of Republicans would forestall a “wave” election this fall, which the GOP would need to win back control of the House and Senate.
The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll “underscores the fact that with fewer than 90 days until the mid-term elections, the Republican Party’s standing is at one of its lowest points ever and its competitive position vs. the Democrats looks much as it did in the summers of 1998 and 2002, neither of which were ‘wave’ elections,” wrote Obama pollster Joel Benenson in a memo.
The NBC/WSJ survey found that 24 percent of the public has a somewhat or very positive opinion of the Republican Party, compared to 46 percent who expressed a somewhat or very negative impression of the GOP. By contrast, 33 percent of the public viewed Democrats favorably, and 46 percent saw the incumbent party as somewhat or very negative.
“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,” 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.