Good Morning America Reports 'Poll Stunner: GOP Favored'

"Good Morning America" Wednesday broke the news about a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finding Republicans now favored over Democrats in the upcoming Congressional elections in November.

"Republicans are in a dramatically improved position for the midterm elections," said Jake Tapper. "They are much more competitive with Democrats and the President as to who the public trusts to handle key issues."

Tapper, with some help from co-host George Stephanopoulos, then walked viewers through some of the numbers (video embedded below the fold with poll highlights, h/t Glenn Reynolds):

Among registered voters in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, 48 percent say they'd support the Republican candidate in their congressional district if the midterm elections were today, 45 percent the Democrat. That's a rare level of GOP support in nearly three decades of polls. [...]

The president himself is down to scant 5-point leads over the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the economy, health care reform and the threat of terrorism down, respectively, from 37-, 28- and 21-point advantages on these issues in the spring and summer. His lead on the economy, now near naught, had been a record in ABC/Post polls since 1991.

The president and the opposition party score about evenly, 45-43 percent, in trust to handle the deficit, an especially weak issue for Obama. He does slightly better, but hardly well, in trust to create jobs, an issue he's newly (critics would say belatedly) stressed a 7-point advantage over the Republicans, but below majority preference, 48 to 41 percent. [...]

Among independents, the keystone of national politics, 46 percent approve of Obama's work overall and 49 percent disapprove. The shift among independents shows as well in their trust to handle top issues away from Obama, and toward the Republicans in Congress.

The president's rated negatively for his handling of four out of five individual issues tested in this poll: the deficit (56 percent disapprove), health care and the economy (53 percent apiece) and creating jobs (51 percent). His only positive is for handling terrorism.

His opponents, moreover, are fired up. On health care 43 percent "strongly" disapprove of his performance, while far fewer, 24 percent, strongly approve. On the economy strong disapprovers outnumber strong approvers by 16 points, 38 percent to 22 percent. And on the deficit it's a 23-point margin; 40 percent strongly disapprove while just 17 percent approve strongly.

On top of all this, Obama faces growing second-guessing about trials of accused terrorists. In a shift from November, 55 percent of Americans now say such trials should be held in special military tribunals rather than in the existing federal court system. With handling terrorism one of Obama's last redoubts, that disagreement with his policy poses a threat.

In another slap at the party in power, 57 percent of Americans say it's a good thing the Republicans have broken the Democratic supermajority in the Senate, because it'll force the Democrats to cooperate more with GOP leaders to get things done. [...]

[T]he current 48-45 percent split toward Republican candidates among registered voters, while not a statistically significant advantage, is unusual. Republicans have held a numerical advantage just six times in scores of ABC/Post polls since 1981.

Fascinating stuff; good to see GMA share this with viewers.

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Noel Sheppard's picture