Monday, June 30, 2008

Poll: Democrats Favored for House Majority in November

Gallup reports that the Democrats are expected to retain majority control of the House of Representatives in the November elections:

The Democratic Party is in a good position to retain its majority status in Congress this November. Democrats lead the Republicans by 51% to 40% in the party preferences for Congress among all registered voters, and by 52% to 42% among likely voters.

This is according to Gallup's "generic ballot" question, asking Americans which party's candidate they would vote for in their congressional district if the election were held today. The USA Today/Gallup survey was conducted June 15-19, 2008.

The Democrats' 11-point advantage among registered voters is slightly less than what Gallup found in mid-February -- at that time, the Democrats led by 55% to 40% -- however, it still puts them in a comfortable position heading into the fall.

The current registered-voter results are identical to those from Gallup's final pre-election survey in 2006. In that election, the Democrats wrested majority control of Congress from the Republicans, winning 53% of all votes cast nationally for congressional candidates, to the Republicans' 45%. The implication of this, of course, is that the Democrats are on track to hold on to their U.S. House seat majority in the 2008 elections.
The question this year's not whether Democrats will retain majority control of Congress, but how large the majority will be.

For Republicans,
the key is retaining at least 41 seats in the Senate, where the party's use of minority rule protections can slow down Democratic legislative programs.