Dems Pull Ahead Of GOP By One In Gallup’s New Congressional Generic Ballot

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September 20, 2010 2:17 p.m.

According to the latest Gallup survey of registered voters, Democrats are now ahead of Republicans on the generic congressional ballot question, with a 46%-45% lead.

Three weeks ago, Gallup reported that the GOP held a 10-point lead in congressional generic polling, marking the highest lead for the party ever registered by Gallup. A week later, the Republicans’ Gallup-induced confidence dissipated, as the firm released a poll that countered the previous week’s numbers. With that survey’s 46%-46% tie, Democrats appeared to be right back in the game. That was until the next week’s Gallup poll found Republicans back on top, 48%-43%.

So what does the release of this week’s Gallup congressional generic polling numbers tell us about the midterm elections?

Uh, be wary of congressional generic polling?While this survey may provide hope for Democrats in the midst of a rough election season, the results may simply be more of an indication that these ballot numbers ought to be approached with caution.

Perhaps the most telling number from the survey is the disparity between Democratic and Republican voter enthusiasm. According the the latest findings, 47% of registered Republicans are “very enthusiastic” about voting in this year’s congressional elections, whereas only 28% of registered Democrats indicated the same sentiment.

As the pollster noted, “Republicans have enjoyed at least a 10-point advantage on this measure since Gallup began tracking congressional election preferences in March, including margins of 16 points or higher since August.”

With campaign fervor increasing by the day, the pollster concludes that given the “continuing enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats, even a tie in registered voters’ preferences will almost certainly mean the Republicans will garner the most votes on Election Day.”

The TPM Poll Average finds Republicans up on the Democrats, 45.9%-41.2.

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