For the first time, I had Research 2000 ask, “In the 2010 congressional elections, will you definitely vote, probably vote, not likely vote or definitely will not vote?” The results were nothing short of cataclysmic:
Among Republican respondents, 81 percent said they were definitely or probably going to vote, versus only 14 percent who were definitely or not likely to do so. Among independent voters, it was 65-23. Among Democrats? A woeful 56-40: Two out of every five Democrats are currently unlikely to vote. A look at key Democratic constituencies shows how demoralized the party’s base currently is. Among African-Americans, just 34 percent are likely to vote, versus 54 percent unlikely to do so. Republican-leaning white voters clocked in at 66-29. Only 41 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, a key constituency for Democrats in both 2006 and 2008, are likely to vote, compared to 49 percent likely to sit things out.
Rasmussen reports that the GOP has a seven-point lead in the generic congressional ballot:
Since late June, support for Republican candidates on the Generic Ballot has ranged from 41% to 44%, while support for Democrats has run from 36% to 40%. Looking back a year ago, the two parties were in a much different place. Throughout the fall of 2008, support for Democratic congressional candidates ranged from 42% to 47%. Republican support ranged from 37% to 41%.
The 2010 elections are nearly a year away, and many things could change. Moreover, the Democrats have great institutional and financial advantages. Still, they cannot be happy with these data.