NPR poll of 70 most competitive districts finds Democrats in big trouble 

A National Public Radio poll on the 70 most competitive congressional districts found “grim news for Democrats,” with Republicans up by 8 percentage points over Democrats. In particular, the president’s unpopularity is hurting his party:

He pointed out that President Obama’s approval ratings are much lower in these competitive districts than they are nationally: 54 percent of the likely battleground voters disapproved of Obama’s performance; 40 percent approved.

“It’s very problematic for the president to have a 40 percent approval rating in these 60 Democratic districts,” Bolger said. “When you look at history, when the president is below 50 percent nationally, his party tends to lose more than 40 seats.”

The other interesting detail is that the poll found that it’s not that just that voters are anti-incumbent — Republican voters are in fact rearing to go, while Democrats are demoralized:

Bolger says the NPR poll has more evidence of a trend that’s been apparent all year: Republican-leaning voters are energized, while the intensity seems to have leached out of the Democratic ranks.

“When you look at the generic ballot for Congress in the Democrat-held seats, the Republican is up by 5 [points]. But among those who rate their interest as 8 to 10, you know, the high-interest voters, the Republican leads in those Democratic seats 53 to 39.

“And what that means is that is in a close election, the Republican enthusiasm will put Republicans over the top, just like in ‘06 and ‘08, the Democratic enthusiasm put the Democrats over the top.”

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Mark Hemingway

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