Democrats Maintain 2010 Polling Edge Over GOP ... Sort Of

More mixed polling news for Democrats

By + More

Last week I noted that Gallup's latest generic congressional survey had shown Democrats with their strongest performance since the polling firm started in March asking about the 2010 elections. They scored some more good news this week, still leading the GOP. But there's an unhealthy measure of bad news for the Democrats as well.

According to the latest Gallup poll, 48 percent of registered voters prefer Democrats in the 2010 election and 44 percent prefer Republicans. This marks the first time in the 21 weeks that Gallup has asked voters the ballot test question that either party has maintained a four or more point lead for two weeks running (though last week Democrats led 49-43).

Then there's the bad news. First off, and this will be mostly ignored in discussions of these results, the poll's margin of error is +/- 4 points, meaning that that 48-44 lead is technically statistically insignificant.

But even if we take the poll at face value, Gallup still points to a huge Democratic problem: enthusiasm. Forty-six percent of Republican voters describe themselves as "very enthusiastic," which is down five points from last week. But only 28 percent of Democrats describe themselves that way. It's held steady there for three weeks running now and hasn't cracked 30 since early May.

The Democrats have less than 100 days until the midterm elections. The clock is ticking louder and louder, it's time they started closing that enthusiasm gap. Congress hangs in the balance.

  • Check out our editorial cartoons on the 2010 campaigns.
  • See who is donating to your member of Congress.
  • See a slide show of 5 key issues in the 2010 elections.