By Oregon Campaign Watch,
From CNN analyst, Harry Enten,
“Sometimes you see a polling result that jumps out from the page. That was the case when I saw a recently released Gallup poll on who Americans think can better handle the issue that is most important to them….Put in a historical context, this poll potentially portends very good things for Republicans come November…Gallup, unlike other pollsters, has another twist on that question. They follow it up by pressing respondents to answer which party they think can better handle the issue that they just named as the most important.
Gallup’s latest data shows that 48% of Americans believe the Republican Party is best equipped, while 37% believe it is the Democratic Party. This 11-point Republican edge is one of the best they have ever had. Looking at 20 midterm elections since 1946 when this question was asked, only once has the Republican Party had a larger advantage on this question. That was in 1946 when Republicans had a 17 point lead on the Democrats.Republicans had a net gain of 55 House seats in the 1946 election. And while the correlation is far from perfect (+0.7 on a scale of -1 to 1) between House seats won by the Republican Party and how they stood against the Democrats on the most important issue question, it is very much existent.
Take a look at all elections since 1946 in which there was a Democratic president. Republicans ended up with 230 seats on average in the five elections when they led on the question of who Americans trusted more on the issue most important to them. This included 1946 when they won 246 seats.In the four elections when Republicans trailed on this question, they won an average of just 189 seats. This included both 1962 and 1998, which are the two elections in the polling era with a Democratic president when Republicans had a net gain of less than five seats. Democrats need to keep Republicans to a net gain of less than five seats to maintain control of the House after November’s elections.”
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