Both the Real Clear Politics Congressional Generic average and the new Gallup track show similar national trend lines - Dems gaining ground, GOP dropping. Similarly, the Gallup track has Obama's approval rating improving by 10 net percentage points in the past month, from 42/51 to 47/46 (RCP has shown movement despite 2 clear outlier Rasmussen and AP polls).
If these trend lines are true, no one should be suprised. The underlining favorability of the Republican Party is still far below that of the Dems and Obama. This election has never been like 1994 where at this point there had been both a fall of the Dems and a rise in the GOP. The memory of the disasterous GOP reign in the last decade is still too fresh, their leaders still to unreformed, their candidates far too wacky, and their ideas still to reckless for the current GOP to have fully taken advantage of the Democratic underpeformance this past cycle. This election, like all elections, is not like any other election. It has its own contours, its own dynamics. Like all elections it is sui generis.
Look at these nunbers, filtering out crappy internet polls and Rasmussen:
Focus less on the narrow Democratic lead (throw in Rasmussen, and that evaporates), but the trends. Those are not good trends for the GOP, and shows that whatever their flaws, Democrats are closing strong.
And while the GOP couldn't stop releasing internal poll numbers all spring and summer (with nary a Democratic response), suddenly the roles are reversed -- it's the Democrats who are dumping scads of great-looking internal polling, while Republicans have gone suspiciously silent.
It's telling that House Republicans are suddenly scrambling to release their "plan" for America. They showed little interest in campaigning on any agenda while they rode high on the polls. It was all "Pelosi Obama Pelosi Obama bugga bugga bugga", all the time. But the wind seems to be out of those sails, the enthusiasm gap appears to be narrowing, and the GOP's big generic ballot lead is starting to erode. That's why they're releasing their plan -- to try and stem the bleeding.
Make no mistake -- the GOP will make significant gains this November. I'm not trying to create false hope or wear blinders. But if we hold the House and Senate, at the cost of a few dozen Blue Dogs, it won't just be a victory for us, but it'll sunder the GOP. They expect to win both chambers. If we stop them, the simmering battle between the teabaggers and GOP establishment will be epic.
So GOTV like mad. The numbers are trending in our direction. We just have to close the deal.
Oh, one last point:
USA Today/Gallup, 9/7/08: McCain 54, Obama 44
ABC/WaPost, 9/7/08: McCain 49, Obama 47
Gallup, 9/9/08: McCain 48, Obama 43
Gallup, 9/12/08: McCain 47, Obama 45
Hotline, 9/12/08: McCain 45, Obama 44
Rasmussen, 9/13/08: McCain 50, Obama 47
ARG, 9/15/08: McCain 48, Obama 45
Gallup, 9/15/08: McCain 47, Obama 46
Rasmussen, 9/16/08: McCain 48, Obama 47
GWU/Tarrance, 9/18/08: McCain 47, Obama 45
We even had a 10-point Gallup deficit in 2008! Then, late September, the numbers started turning. Here is a chart of the presidential polls between 9/1/2008 and 9/22/2008:
We have time to beat back the hordes. Let's get it done. (Here's a good place to start.)