Don’t Count Out the GOP

If you listen to the media, Republicans in Congress are disliked more than President Obama. They like to tell us how the Tea Party is unpopular and extreme. They like to compare the unfavorability of Congress in 2011 to the numbers taken before the 2010 election. They like to say the American public would vote out every current Congressman if given the chance.

Simply put, we’re toast.

Before anyone throws the toast away, here’s some butter. No less than Politico looks at the Wall St. Journal/NBC News poll and finds a few morsels to delight Republicans and scare Democrats.

“Registered voters, by a 47 percent to 41 percent spread, would rather have Republicans in charge of Congress. That’s the highest level of preference for Republican control since the question was first posed 15 years ago. At a time when the White House is fond of the mantra that an election is a ‘choice, not a referendum,’ it appears that voters aren’t ready to choose Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over Speaker John Boehner.” they say.

It gets better. “As it is right now, white voters favor a Republican Congress by a 20 point margin…the combination of survey results bodes well for their counterparts in the Senate. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s team could benefit from the confluence of both a desire for Republican control of Congress and an anti-incumbent sentiment in the electorate. Democrats are defending 23 seats in the Senate, and only a handful of the Republican-held seats on the 2012 ballot figure to be competitive.

“At the end of the day, this is going to be about Obama, and if it is it’s going to hurt Democrats a lot more than it’s going to hurt Republicans.”

Some coming elections bear this out.

Tuesday there will be a special election in New York’s 9th district, Anthony Weiner’s seat. Long thought to be predictably Democratic, a GOP poll now shows Republican Bob Turner tied with Democrat David Weprin. Turner has even gotten the support of former New York mayor and Democrat Ed Koch, plus rabbis in the heavily Jewish district.

In West Virginia, the Republican is gaining ground, too. The PPP (a Democrat run poll) shows Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin leading Republican Bill Maloney 46 to 40. However, in May his lead was 45-30; in April 56-23. Clearly Maloney is gaining momentum.

In Massachusetts, Senator Scott Brown bests every Democrat opponent.

As for the president, he’s not in a good place. He is below the 50% approval at a time in the election cycle that saw Clinton and Reagan easily rebound above that magic number.

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