Like all good poison pills, this poll from Politico/GWU looks like good news to the Democrats on the surface. Admittedly, ‘good news’ is a slippery concept – it shows +5 GOP on the generic ballot – but that’s better than the Democrats have been managing lately and is at least no worse than the last one. But, as always, it’s the stuff below the lede that’s the killer. Consider:
- Never mind Obama’s 46/51 (underwater) favorable/unfavorable numbers; the real interesting numbers here are Pelosi’s (36/56) and Boehner’s (18/15). It’s like the Democrats’ attempts to demonize Boehner have completely failed, while the Republicans’ attempts to link the Speaker to individual Democratic races has been remarkably successful. Actually, it’s not ‘like’ that at all; that’s pretty much what happened.
- Speaking of favorable numbers: according to this poll, it works out like this: Republicans 50(!)/41, Tea Party 41/38… and the Democrats underwater at 42/50.
- Independents are favoring the Republican candidate on the ballot by 14 points (44/30). This is not really news anymore, which is kind of significant in and of itself.
- One last point: the majority of voters in the Republican, Independent, and Democratic categories are all voting for candidates (68/54/73), rather than against them (26/28/18). That suggests that candidates may want to spend the last week running on their records. Well, Republican ones; the Democrats have been having some problems with that.
For those wondering: the partisan split on this poll is 42/41/17 Republican/Democratic/Independent, which is seriously unhelpful to anyone pushing a narrative of a late Democratic surge. Expect attacks on the methodology from that direction; also expect the default “GOTV will save us!” narrative that is already beginning to crop up…