"Democrats hoping improvements in the economy's course and the Affordable Care Act's implementation would level the playing field for the fall elections should brace themselves," USA Today's Susan Page and Kendall Breitman warned the president's party in their May 5 front-page story, "Poll shows biggest advantage for Republicans in 2 decades." So naturally the Big Three broadcast networks completely ignored the story this morning, preferring instead to fawn over President Obama, Joel McHale, and the White House Correspondents Association Dinner held on Saturday.
The USA Today-Pew Research Center poll conducted April 23-27, found strong frustration by respondents with President Obama and Democrats, with 65 percent of Americans "want[ing] the president elected in 2016 to pursue different policies and programs than the Obama administration." What's more, "registered voters are inclined to support the Republican candidate over the Democrat in their congressional district by 47%-43%. Yes, "[t]hat edge may seem small," Page and Breitman conceded, but (emphasis mine):
...it's notable because Democrats traditionally fare better among registered voters than they do among those who actually cast ballots, especially in low-turnout midterms.
What's more, when you compare polling data with previous election years, there's plenty of reason to cheer Republicans and give Democrats pause. This is, after all "the strongest tilt to Republican candidates at this point in a midterm year in at least two decades, including before partisan 'waves' in 1994 and 2010 that swept the GOP into power."
To back that up, USA Today's splashed the jump page -- as well as the online article -- with similar "if the elections were today" questions from midterm years gone by. [see screen capture below]
In 2010, there was an even split 44-44 for the Republicans and Democrats and "In November: Republicans gained 63 net seats and won back control [of the U.S. House]." By contrast, the huge Democratic midterm year of 2006, when Democrats took back control of the House in a notoriously bad year for President Bush and Republicans, Democrats had a 10-point advantage -- 51 percent to 41 percent -- over Republicans. In that year they "gained 31 net seats" to take back the chamber from Republicans, who had held the majority for 12 years.
To read the full story, click here.