Dems Retake Edge In Generic Ballot For First Time Since 2009

May 11, 2011 12:54 pm

Just a few months removed from last year’s midterm elections, the wave that swept Republicans to an epic victory has already receded, as they now trail Democrats in a generic election ballot, according to the latest TPM Poll Average.

Last year, Republicans held a huge edge in generic ballot surveys as voters turned against the party in power, Democrats. But since taking over control of the House of Representatives back in January, that big lead has quickly evaporated, giving Democrats an edge they haven’t had in the TPM Poll Average in about a year and a half, since November 2009.

The poll that tipped the scales came this week from CNN. In that survey of adults nationwide, Democrats emerged with a 50% to 46% edge over Republicans. As a result, the TPM Poll Average shifted just enough to give Democrats a tiny lead, 42.4% to 42.2%.But that minuscule lead has been awhile in the making. Check out the trend lines:

You can see where, just before the November midterms, Republicans opened up a wide lead. In an August Gallup poll, Republicans held an unprecedented 10-point edge on their political rivals.

However, the transition from campaigning to governing reversed that lead, and quickly.

Since taking control of the House, Republicans have pushed several unpopular initiatives — the latest being the drive to privatize Medicare — and have been criticized by Democrats for failing to deliver on their campaign promise to focus on job creation. As a result, Americans have soured on the party they just vaulted to power in Congress’ lower chamber, a point underscored by the TPM Poll Average tracking the GOP’s favorability.

It’s a long way to 2012, but at least for now, Democrats once again hold an edge in the generic ballot. And they hold that edge for the first time in a long while.

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