Presidential primary contest and pre-Christmas showdown put Republicans at risk


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This first Democracy Corps national survey of the New Year shows Republicans at risk at every level. On the ballot, Republicans are in serious danger. For the first time since the 2010 election, Democrats have taken the lead in the congressional vote and this poll shows that third-party defections on the Presidential ballot could prove devastating for the Republicans. The intensity gap has shifted in the Democrats' favor and Democrats have moved closer to parity on the economy, reaching their highest level of trust since October 2010.

More than half of all voters (53 percent) say that the more they watch the Republicans in Congress, the less they like what the Republicans have to offer; only 39 percent say they like it more - a 14 point margin. The country is equally repelled by the Republican presidential contest (53 to 38 percent). The style of their politics and governance is driving away independents. And more than half of white non-college voters who were key to Republicans wins in 2010 do not like what the Republicans in Congress are offering—a staggering result.

Key Findings

  • For the first time in two years, Democrats are winning the Congressional ballot (48 to 45 percent), the result of a major shift among independents. Democrats are now winning independents by 6 points - a net 13-point shift among independents since October and a net 23-point shift since August. In June, Democrats were losing independent men by a margin of 29 points. Democrats are now winning this demographic by two points. In 2010, Democrats lost seniors by a 23-point margin. That gap has closed to just 10 points.
  • John Boehner’s favorability has fallen off significantly—43 percent now give the Speaker a negative rating, with three in 10 voters giving him a very negative rating (under 25 on our 100-point scale).
  • Two-thirds of all voters now say they disapprove of this Republican Congress and its approval rating has hit a new low in our tracking—25 percent. The decline has come from a complete drop-off of those who “strongly approve” of this Republican Congress—down to 8 percent, also the lowest in our tracking.
  • The Republicans have lost their advantage on the economy. Democrats now trail Republicans on which party would do a better job on the economy by only two points, a net 5-point shift since October. While most improvements in this poll are due to Republicans faltering, here Democrats have gained 5 points on trust to handle the economy.

Full memo

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Frequency questionnaire


Written by Stan Greenberg, James Carville, Erica Seifert for Democracy Corps.