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Please begin with an informative title:

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 3/22/2010-3/25/2010. Registered Voters. MoE 2.8% (Last week's results in parentheses):

PRESIDENT OBAMA 56 (53) 39 (41) +5
PELOSI: 39 (37) 54 (55) +3
REID: 26 (27) 66 (66) -1
McCONNELL: 20 (21) 64 (63) -2
BOEHNER: 17 (20) 64 (62) -5
CONGRESSIONAL DEMS: 40 (39) 56 (58) +3
CONGRESSIONAL GOPS: 21 (24) 71 (67) -7
DEMOCRATIC PARTY: 40 (39) 53 (55) +3
REPUBLICAN PARTY: 28 (30) 67 (66) -3
Full crosstabs here. This poll is updated every Friday morning, and you can see trendline graphs here.

There are weeks where it is exceedingly difficult to try to divine a trend or a notable point of data in the week-to-week changes in the Daily Kos State of the Nation tracking poll.

Quite clearly, this is not one of those weeks.

The Democrats get a big boost out of the week in which they managed to finally pass a comprehensive health care reform package. Everyone except Harry Reid sees gains, and fairly notable ones.

Most of that gain, perhaps unsurprisingly, comes from the base. For example, a key component in the three-point net gain for the Congressional Democrats was a ten-point bump among Democrats, where the favorability among the base rose above 70% for the first time in recent memory.

An interesting contrast, incidentally, develops on the other side of the partisan ledger.

As you see above, the GOP delegation in Congress took an absolute drubbing this week, losing a net seven points of favorability for the week. What's noteworthy about that drop, however, is that it happened in equal measure between Democrats (where the net drop was nine points) and Independents (where the net drop was also nine points).

What is equally noteworthy is the fact that the Republican base did not rise to their feet in applause in quite the same way. Perhaps what the GOPers in Congress thought was noble obstruction was viewed by their own base as...well...futility. While the Democrats in Congress picked up a net of ten points of favorability with their base this week, the GOPers picked up just a single point, and actually saw their unfavorabilities increase by one point.

Independents, while fairly blunt in their assessment of Congressional Republicans this week, did not offer much in terms of swing in their opinion of Congressional Democrats. The net favorability of the Blue team rose, but only by a single point.

The contrast between the relative steadiness of Independent views on Congressional Dems with the starkly negative response towards the GOP in Congress clearly proves false the conventional wisdom that building an entire campaign rationale around obstruction is a recipe for adoration among Independent voters.

The reconsideration of the Republican Party among Independent voters extended to our variation of the generic Congressional ballot, as well. The Democrats move out to a six-point edge (48-42), buoyed by the fact that the GOP dropped from 43% of the vote among Independents down to 40% (the Dems picked up a point to pull even at 40% among Indies).

The polarization among hard-core partisans is also evident in the wake of the health care battles. The GOP can only manage 5% of the Democratic vote, while the Democrats do even worse, only drawing 4% of the Republican electorate.

Perhaps most importantly was the point covered yesterday by Markos. The single statistic that could best be described as a game-changer is the marked narrowing of the enthusiasm gap, which had been growing steadily for months and was instrumental in the upset GOP win in Massachusetts in January.

More than approval ratings, or even the margins on the generic ballot test, that is going to be the statistic to watch in this election cycle.


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Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Mar 27, 2010 at 07:31 PM PDT.

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