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Gallup Poll: GOP Tied with Dems on Generic Ballot


5:22 PM, Sep 7, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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According to Gallup, the GOP has gone from its all-time biggest lead on the generic ballot to a tie with the Democrats in the span of one week:

Republicans and Democrats are tied at 46% among registered voters in Gallup's weekly tracking of congressional voting preferences, marking a shift after five consecutive weeks in which the Republicans held the advantage.

These results are based on aggregated data from more than 1,650 registered voters surveyed Aug. 30-Sept. 5 as part of Gallup Daily tracking. The results reflect more competitive voting intentions than has been the case recently. Republicans' leads over Democrats among registered voters in three of the previous four weeks were the highest Gallup has measured for this midterm election campaign, and higher than any GOP advantage Gallup has measured in a midterm election year since 1942.

CNN, Rasmussen, and the Washington Post all had polls recently showing the Democrats getting pummelled the generic ballot question. So why is Gallup out of sync? Who knows? But here's what Jay Cost had to say when Gallup showed the GOP with 12-point lead last week:

I think the appropriate posture here is one of caution.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Gallup poll is bouncy.  Obvious question: Just recently, the ballot had a Democratic lead of 6 points, so has enough happened to justify a 16-point shift so quickly?  Similarly, President Obama has gone from -11 to +2 in his net job approval in the last two weeks. This is a bounce that nobody else has found. It's appropriate not to get hung up on the day-to-day or even week-to-week changes in the Gallup poll.

Another note of caution on Gallup's latest poll: the GOP is maintaining its "enthusiasm" advantage.

There has been no change in the advantage Republicans hold over Democrats on motivation to vote in the fall elections. Republicans remain twice as likely as Democrats to be "very enthusiastic" about voting, tied with the previous week's measure as the largest such advantage of the year.

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