Gallup: GOP Takes 10-Point Lead On Generic Ballot

Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP’s largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup’s history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.

2010 Trend: Candidate Preferences in 2010 Congressional Elections, Based on Registered Voters

These results are based on aggregated data from registered voters surveyed Aug. 23-29 as part of Gallup Daily tracking. This marks the fifth week in a row in which Republicans have held an advantage over Democrats — one that has ranged between 3 and 10 points.

The Republican leads of 6, 7, and 10 points this month are all higher than any previous midterm Republican advantage in Gallup’s history of tracking the generic ballot, which dates to 1942. Prior to this year, the highest such gap was five points, measured in June 2002 and July 1994. Elections in both of these years resulted in significant Republican gains in House seats.

Bottom Line

The last Gallup weekly generic ballot average before Labor Day underscores the fast-evolving conventional wisdom that the GOP is poised to make significant gains in this fall’s midterm congressional elections. Gallup’s generic ballot has historically proven an excellent predictor of the national vote for Congress, and the national vote in turn is an excellent predictor of House seats won and lost. Republicans’ presumed turnout advantage, combined with their current 10-point registered-voter lead, suggests the potential for a major “wave” election in which the Republicans gain a large number of seats from the Democrats and in the process take back control of the House. One cautionary note: Democrats moved ahead in Gallup’s generic ballot for several weeks earlier this summer, showing that change is possible between now and Election Day.

Read more from Frank Newport at Gallup

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