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The Generic Ballot Bomb


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the_generic_ballot_bomb_1.htmlAmerican Thinker:

At this point in a presidential election year, Americans are inundated with polls. Often these polls provide no real information at all, except the bias and the population samples of the polling organization.

As one example, consider this polling data released for April 16 showing the matchup between Obama and Romney. Depending upon the polling organization, Romney leads Obama by 2 (Gallup), trails Obama by 9 (CNN/Opinion Research), trails Obama by 4 (Reuters/Ipsos), or leads Obama by 3 (Rasmussen).

Presidential match-up polls are notoriously unpredictable six months before an election. Will the recent scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes -- some perhaps even underage prostitutes -- during the president's visit to Colombia suppress his approval for a few weeks? Probably, but that is highly unlikely to swing a presidential election. Moreover, it is almost certain not to have much effect on the other races in 2012 -- Senate races, House races, six governorships, and thousands of state legislative seats.

There is, however, a poll which does show the partisan leaning of America: the generic congressional ballot. When a voter goes to the polls in November, a "generic" favoring of one party over another will often be the decisive factor in casting a ballot. Indeed, the huge sweep of Republicans up and down the ballot in 2010 can only be explained by this massive and generic rejection of Democrats. So this poll is as close to a straightforward question about which political party a respondent will support in the next election as any question asked in polls.

What does the generic congressional ballot say about 2012? Rasmussen asks likely voters which party the respondent intends to support in the next congressional election each week and announces the results every Monday. Over the last three years, likely voters in this poll have favored Republicans over Democrats almost every single week. At this time last year, the Republican edge was 42% to 40%. One week, in November, the parties tied at 41% to 41%, and one week, at the end of January, Democrats held a one-point 41%-to-40% advantage. Since March, however, the Republican advantage has been growing -- the practical end of the Republican fighting for the nomination is a logical explanation for the change -- and since the beginning of March, the Republican advantage per week has progressed thus: +3%, +6%, +4%, +5%, +6%, +5%, +10%.Scissors-32x32.png

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