Ye Olde Congressional Generic


As I’ve mentioned a few times, the so-called ‘congressional generic ballot’ has tightened in the Dems’ favor over the last couple months. So a week after Health Care Reform passed, how is it looking?The upward trend for the Dems continues. But what’s new is that there’s an upward trend for the GOP as well.

It’s important to recognize that these movements involve very small numerical changes. But as of a week out, Health Care Reform seems to have galvanized partisans on both sides, allowing the GOP to maintain a very small but discernible edge.

Now, one thing about the congressional generic is that Rasmussen, whose numbers tend to tilt GOP (which doesn’t necessarily mean his numbers are wrong — a topic I’ll return to), has polled this race a lot. And his soundings are so frequent that this has a marked affect on the overall average. What does it look like if you take his numbers out of the mix? Here’s the result …

As you’d expect, the numbers are a tad more friendly to the Democrats. But the trend is the same — a growing enthusiasm for each party, beginning around mid-February.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of