2010 Election Poll Roundup: More Bad News for Incumbents, Democrats

Early voting starts as voters remain unhappy with members of Congress.

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As one of the final weeks of campaigning comes to a close today, two prominent Democrats are trailing and early voting is well underway in several states. A survey released today shows that more voters plan to cast their ballots early in this year’s midterm election compared to last. Today’s polls show a majority of American voters don’t want to re-elect members of Congress, and a little more than half of likely voters want Republicans in charge on Capitol Hill in January. In the Arkansas Senate race, incumbent Blanche Lincoln trails her GOP opponent by 21 points. And in South Dakota’s only district, Democratic incumbent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is also behind in the polls, though by a slim margin. The Pennsylvania Senate race remains in a statistical dead heat, with Republican Pat Toomey edging Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak. But in New York, where both Senators are up for re-election, Democrats lead by at least 18 points.  Here is today’s poll roundup.


A Gallup Poll survey released today found 56 percent of voters think members of Congress don’t deserve re-election, while 33 percent believe they do. The percentage of those who support members’ re-election is lower than in 1994, where 38 percent showed support. However these numbers aren’t as low as they were earlier this year, when 64 percent said members shouldn’t be re-elected and 28 percent said they should. [See a slide show of political predictions for 2010.]

A Pew Research Center study indicates that 50 percent of likely voters say they will vote  for Republicans while 40 percent will vote for Democrats. The poll shows a 3 percent decrease in Democratic likely voters since last month. The same study finds that 23 percent of registered voters say they plan to vote before Election Day, an 8 percent increase in early voting from the last midterm in 2006.

[See a slide show of the GOP’s 10 Most Wanted.]

Regarding the healthcare reform bill, 36 percent of voters think the law should be revised, 37 percent say it should be repealed all together, and 15 percent say it should be left alone, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll among likely voters. The poll found that all together, 52 percent oppose the legislation while 41 percent oppose it.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on healthcare.]

According to a Rasmussen Poll released today, 51 percent of likely voters say they want Republicans to take charge of both the House and Senate, while 42 percent want Democrats in control. The survey also found that 66 percent of voters say the 2010 election is “very important” to them and 89 percent that it will have an impact on their lives.

[See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]

Arkansas Senate

Republican Rep. John Boozman holds a 21 point lead over two-term incumbent Lincoln, 55 percent to 34 percent, according to a Mason-Dixon Polling and Research poll. The survey also shows Boozman leading in term of favorability, 54 percent to 33 percent. The same poll last month showed Boozman, a four-term lawmaker, with a 17 point lead.  New York Senate

Both incumbent Senators in New York lead their GOP opponents by double digits, according to a Marist College poll released today. Sen. Chuck Schumer leads Jay Townsend 63 percent to 35 percent, among likely voters. The survey found that 35 percent of Republican likely voters would support Schumer. The two-term senator received a 66 percent favorability rating. Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand leads Joe DioGuardi 56 percent to 38 percent among likely voters, and has a 58 percent favorability rating. Pennsylvania Senate

Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Sestak are in a statistical dead heat, according to a Rasmussen poll released today. Toomey edges Sestak 48 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, with a 4.5 percent margin of error.  South Dakota House (At-Large)

Republican state legislator Kristi Noem is edges three-term incumbent Democrat Herseth Sandlin 49 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, with a 4.5 percent margin of error, according to a Rasmussen poll released today.