Q: Would you rather that more Democrats or more Republicans were elected to Congress in the next election?
Here's what the recent numbers look like:
Date Democrats Republicans
11/17-20 45 42
11/3-6 43 46
10/20-23 44 43
10/6-9 47 41
9/22-25 44 43
9/8-11 45 42
As you can see, two weeks ago, Republicans managed to take the lead on this question. It was the first time they'd done so since ... well, for the first time in a very, very long time! Combing back through our archives, the last time the GOP had a generic ballot advantage was in February—Feb. 17, to be precise, when they led 45-42. Since then, the Democratic edge has varied, from as little as one point to as many as about seven. But led they always had, until early November.
It so happens that our survey two weeks ago had one of the most Republican-heavy samples we'd seen in some time: Our respondents were evenly divided between both parties, at 36 percent apiece. That itself was extremely unusual (our samples are almost always bluer) and almost certainly accounts for that momentary GOP lead. (This week, our sample is back to a more normal 41 D, 34 R.) That's also a lot more reassuring than the Feb. 17 poll, where the GOP held the upper hand in spite of the demographics showing a 37 D, 31 R split. So I'm inclined to think the Nov. 3-6 numbers were a one-time blip rather than a new trend. But as always, we'll see.