The PJ Tatler

Change I can believe in: GOP still holds large lead in generic Congressional ballot

Say one thing for Barack Obama: He did bring about change. Democrats used to routinely lead the generic Congressional ballot. Not anymore.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 37% would choose the Democrat instead. This is almost identical to findings for the previous three weeks.

The GOP has been consistently ahead on the Generic Ballot since June 2009, leading by as much as 12 points and as little as two. The week before Election Day last November, support for Republicans peaked at 51%, the highest level of support either party has enjoyed in the last two years, but GOP support tapered off after that. This marks the 14th week in a row that Republican support has fallen in the narrow range of 41% to 44%.

Democrats enjoyed a seven-point lead on the Generic Ballot – 42% to 35% – when Barack Obama took office as president in late January 2009, but their support has generally remained in the mid- to upper 30s since June of that year. Republicans began to close the gap following the stimulus debate in February 2009.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza brings a little MSM hope to the change, crafting an implausible argument that Obama’s strength is his foreign policy. Aside from the fact that Obama’s foreign policy is mixed and teetering, even if Obama was strong here it wouldn’t help him much. Other than in the immediate aftermath of 9-11, Americans tend not to vote on foreign policy issues (for the record, I wish voters paid more attention to national security/foreign policy). We vote our economic situation, and for millions, that situation isn’t the least bit favorable to Obama. Rasmussen isn’t the only pollster to detect Prince Hopenchange’s fade by any means.

And in addition to building a Carteresque presidential record, Obama might even be a flake.