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Post-healthcare Gallup Poll finds Republicans now leading on congressional ballot

April 1, 2010 |  2:28 am
Michael Ramirez Obama Akbar Cartoon Investors Business Daily

Oh-oh.

Turns out the Democratic Congress' passage of the Democratic healthcare legislation signed last week by Democratic President Obama is so wildly popular that a new Gallup Poll finds for the first time this survey cycle registered American voters now prefer that a Republican represent their district.

The new survey of the generic congressional ballot, taken after the massive healthcare bill's partisan votes last month and just released overnight, finds 47% say they'd like a Republican representative and 44% prefer a Democrat.

According to Gallup's interpretation, this new finding would indicate an even stronger GOP outcome if November's midterm elections were held now because Republicans tend to vote at higher rates than members of the president's party.

The Gallup report notes how unusual this kind of finding is:

A Republican advantage among all registered voters in midterm elections has been rare in Gallup's 60-year history of tracking congressional voting preferences, happening only a few times each in the 1950, 1994 and 2002 election cycles -- all years in which Republicans had strong Election Day showings.

The new poll also finds that apparently the long, rancorous healthcare debate has energized voters on both sides, although more so for the GOP. Half of Republicans now say they are enthusiastic about the Nov. 2 vote vs. 35% for Democrats; the previous week's figures were 43% and 25%, respectively.

Historically, the first midterm election of a new president's tenure sees a loss of on average 16 House seats for his party.

A loss of 40 House seats would turn Nancy Pelosi into an ex-speaker.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Cartoon reprinted by permission of the artist, Michael Ramirez, Investors Business Daily.

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