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President Barack Obama discusses Ukraine during a meeting with members of his National Security Staff in the Oval Office, Feb. 28, 2014.
Democrats have the advantage over Republicans when it comes to the issues and the question of which party would help women and the middle class, a new Washington Post/ABC poll finds. But that's a piece of good news surrounded by bad news. The poll finds President Barack Obama with his lowest approval rating to date, at 41 percent, and:
Among registered voters, 45 percent intend to vote for the Democratic candidate in House elections this fall, and 44 percent for the Republican candidate. Based on past elections, that close margin is troubling news for Democrats. Shortly before they lost control of the House in 2010, Democrats held a five-point advantage on this question.

Another measure of voting intentions came when people were asked whether they thought it was more important to have Democrats in charge in Congress to help support Obama’s policies or Republicans in charge to act as a check on the president’s policies. On this, 53 percent of voters say Republicans and 39 percent say Democrats. That is almost identical to the results of the same question when it was asked in September 2010, two months before the GOP landslide.

The House situation has gotten worse since 2010 due to extensive Republican gerrymandering in the wake of that landslide. Democrats would need to win the popular vote by a significant margin to retake the House. And right now, despite the party's lead on the issues, it looks like the intensity isn't there among Democratic voters.

The other piece of good news, of course, is that we have six months to turn this around. Six months for Obamacare to show that it works by saving lives and keeping people out of medical bankruptcy. Six months for Republicans to nominate awful candidates and run their mouths about rape. A poll six months out is a warning sign, not the final word.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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