BY Aliyah Shahid
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
It's one heck of a head start heading into November.
The 10-point margin is by far the largest ever earned by the GOP since the polling firm began tracking the generic ballot question — asking whether voters prefer a Democrat or Republican congressional candidate — in 1942.
Before this year, the biggest gap was five points measured in June 2002 and July 1994. Elections in those years resulted in Republican gains in House seats.
Gallup attributes the unprecedented lead to voter enthusiasm. According to the results, Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to be "very" enthusiastic about voting. The GOP has a 25 point lead over Democrats on enthusiasm.
According to Gallup's Frank Newport, the numbers indicate a possibility for a major "wave" election where the GOP gains a large number of seats from the Democrats in trying to take back control of the House.
On Monday, Time's Mark Halperin predicted the GOP could win as many as 60 seats during the mid-term elections.
It should be noted that other polls have shown the generic ballot question to be closer than what Gallup indicates. According to a Newsweek poll, released last week, Democrats and the GOP were tied at 45% each on the generic ballot.
But Michael Bocian, a pollster at the Democratic firm of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, told the Washington Post that a gap this wide is new.
"Even if it's only a five to seven point GOP edge ... that's a big change from the last few cycles," Bocian said.
Gallup surveyed 1,540 voters from Aug 23-29. There is a margin of error of 4 percentage points.