Looking ahead to the 2010 elections, a greater percentage of voters would now prefer to elect a Republican to Congress rather than a Democrat, according to the latest George Washington University Battleground Poll.
Of the 1,000 registered voters surveyed, a total of 42 percent said they would vote for a Republican while only 40 percent said they would vote for a Democrat. This is the first year that Republicans have led on the generic congressional ballot since 2002, according to CQPolitics.com.
It is also an abrupt change from July of this year, when respondents favored Democrats over Republicans by a 3 percent margin.
The poll found furthermore that 56 percent of voters believe the country is on the wrong track and 68 percent disapprove of the job performance of Congress members.
Barack Obama’s approval rating also took a significant dip compared to the last poll. "The economy is starting to take a toll on [the president] and his party’s image," said Celinda Lake, longtime Democratic pollster.
"Voters are very anxious about the economy and looking for solutions that will put people back to work. Democrats can point to a number of successes, yet will ultimately be judged on whether Americans see and feel the recovery in their own communities," she added.
Republican pollster Ed Goeas agreed, stating "the political landscape continues to deteriorate for President Obama and the Democrats in Congress, no matter which direction you look; generic ballot, presidential job approval or issue handling, Republicans have made gains that more than even out the playing field for the 2010 elections."