Surf’s Up

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza looks at recent polling data for signs of whether there’s a Democratic wave coming this November — and, more importantly, how big it might be. Most notable are the results he reports from an NPR poll (undertaken by a Democratic firm, it should be said) of voter sentiment in the 50 most competitive House districts:

By and large, the numbers tracked with the other national polls — although on presidential approval and the generic ballot voters in swing districts were more pro-Bush/pro-Republican than in recent national surveys.

Thirty-one percent of the sample said the country was headed in the right direction while 61 percent said it was off on the wrong track. Forty-one percent approved of the job Bush was doing while 55 percent did not. (Interestingly, 24 percent strongly approved compared to 45 percent who strongly disapproved, a difference that suggests major energy gap between the two party bases.) Forty-eight percent said they would vote for a generic Democratic candidate while 41 percent said they would support a generic Republican.

A 48-41 split on the generic preference question isn’t insuperable, and of course actual incumbents in most cases will outperform the generic party preference question.  The numbers suggest it’ll be close and bloody this November.

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