That reflects an overall approval increase of three points, from 41 to 44, and is stronger than the -11 net approval rating in yesterday's ABC/Washington Post poll. They survey also showed President Obama with a positive net image (+3) while the GOP and tea party were both in terrible shape with a -19 net image rating. Democrats were essentially even (-1).
But here's the troubling news: Although the poll shows registered voters evenly split at 45 percent each between Democrats and Republicans on the generic ballot, the survey showed signs of an enormous intensity gap:
Republicans are benefiting from a high-interest gap. Among those expressing the highest interest in the midterms (either a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale), the GOP has a 15-point edge in congressional preference, 53%-38%.Ultimately, everybody just gets one vote, so as long as people vote, it doesn't matter how interested they are in the election. But it's also obviously true that the more interested people are, the more likely they are to vote. As Laura wrote yesterday, there are still six months to turn that around, but Democrats have their work cut out for them.
My advice? Don't just spend the year attacking Republicans for blocking progress (though definitely do that): Also make a concrete set of promises about what Democrats will do if voters return Congress to their hands. For example, don't just hit Republicans for blocking a minimum wage increase—tell voters that if they want to see the minimum wage hiked, they need to vote for Democrats, because if Democrats win, they will raise the minimum wage. In a normal world, you'd think that would be self-evident, but the fact is the Democrats didn't do it in 2009-2010, so they need to make clear that they aren't just posturing now.