Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/26/2009-10/29/2009. All adults. MoE 2% (Last weeks results in parentheses):
|PRESIDENT OBAMA||56 (56)||36 (37)||+1|
|PELOSI:||39 (38)||53 (54)||+2|
|REID:||33 (32)||55 (56)||+2|
|McCONNELL:||15 (16)||67 (66)||-2|
|BOEHNER:||13 (13)||64 (63)||-1|
|CONGRESSIONAL DEMS:||41 (40)||52 (53)||+2|
|CONGRESSIONAL GOPS:||14 (15)||71 (70)||-2|
|DEMOCRATIC PARTY:||43 (42)||49 (50)||+2|
|REPUBLICAN PARTY:||21 (20)||68 (67)||0|
For the third consecutive week, Democrats across the board experience very modest improvements in their net favorabilities (all within the 1-to-2 point range). Meanwhile, with the exception of the GOP writ large (which holds steady at a -47 net favorability), all of the GOP actors polled here shed a point or two of net favorability.
Normally, changes this small can be attributed to mere float within the margin of error. But the thing about float is that it tends to be somewhat random: a candidate or party gains a point of favorability this week, then sheds two the following week, then gets one back.
That is not what has happened in our tracking poll over the last three weeks. The movement has been uniform rather than random. Democrats, without interruption, have seen their numbers getting better. Republicans, without interruption, have seen their numbers getting worse. It is hard not to conclude that something, even if it is a very modest force, is pulling these numbers.
It could, of course, be the health care debate. Even if one were to believe polls which show voter ambivalence about the reforms being shepherded through Congress (and if this year has made one thing clear, gauging public opinion on health care is tricky business), the Democrats could still politically benefit from such proposals. It is clear that voters may well be recognizing, and perhaps respecting, that one party is interested in attempting to repair the nation's health care system, and one party is apparently not interested in making changes to that system.
Health Care would seem to be the most likely catalyst for this recent partisan divergence in the polls, since the news on the economy has been pretty mixed over the last month, and there is no other obvious events that would move the needle in a clear direction.
It is worth noting that the voters' opinions on Congress may well have been the leading indicator of this recent shift. At the Congressional level, after all, that partisan shift has been taking place for over a month now, as is abundantly clear when looking at the graph:
The Democrats also maintain a lead of eight points (36-28) on our variation of the generic ballot test. This is in line with other recent pollsters on the question (eight points is exactly where both NBC/Wall St Journal and PPP found it within the last week), with the notable exception of Rasmussen, which still has the GOP leading on that question.