Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 28, 2014 11:58 AM

The Races

Box Score
2014- 2000
Congressional Elections

  Senate* House
2012 D +2 D-55/R-45 D +8 D-201/R-234
2010 R +6 D-53/R-47  R +63 D-193/R-242
2008 D +8 D-59/R-41 D +21 D-257/R-178
2006 D +5 D-51/R-49 D +31 D-233/R-202
2004 R +4 D-44/R-55 R +3 D-202/R-232
2002 R +2 D-49/R-51 R +8 D-204/R-229
2000 D +4 D-50/R-50 D +1 D-212/R-221
1998 No change D-45/R-55 D +5 D-211/R223

*Independents are included with Democrats in the Senate tallies.

14% approve of the way Congress is doing its job. This has been the average approval rating for all of 2014. This is somewhat higher than the 9% approval recorded earlier this year. Democrats tend to be more positive than Republicans. [Gallup]

There is a rather dramatic difference between registered voters and likely voters when it comes to Americans’ preference for the outcome of the 2014 Congressional elections.

In the WP/ABC survey (10/20), 46% of registered voters favor the Democratic candidate, while 44% favor the Republican candidate. However, when it comes to likely voters, 50% favor the Republican candidate and 44% favor the Democratic candidate.

A similar dramatic turn is found in the NBC/WSJ Annenberg survey (10/14) taken at essentially the same time. Registered voters, by 45% to 43%, express a preference for a Republican-controlled Congress. Among likely voters, the preference is for a Republican-controlled Congress by 49% to 44%. And, among an additional category of “high interest” voters, these voters prefer a Republican - controlled Congress by 51% to 41%.

57% of Americans think that in this coming election, rather than re-elect their current representative, it is time to give a new person a chance. 55% would choose a person who is running for the first time over a candidate who had served for at least 10 years. And 55% would vote to replace the entire Congress if such an option was part of the ballot in November. [NBC/WSJ 10/14]. Yet, it is most likely that upwards of 90% of those members seeking re-election will be re- elected.

81% of us believe that most members of Congress are out of touch, but only 47% believe that about their own representative. 54% believe that most members of Congress are corrupt, and about half that number believe that about their own member. [Gallup 10/14]

Among registered voters, 42% are generally negative about the prospect of Republicans controlling the majority in both Houses of the Congress, and 38% are generally positive . However, when it comes to likely voters, “their” position is reversed . 47% of likely voters are positive about the Republicans controlling Congress and 42% are negative. [NBC/WSJ Annenberg 10/14]

The Week 6, NBC/WSJ Annenberg survey reveals that Republicans appear to be “charged up and care,” while Democrats are “fearful and indifferent.” For example, 29% of Republicans see the election as “vital,” 24% see it as “optimistic,” and 44% see it as “important.” Conversely, among Democrats only 20% see it as “vital,” 18% see it as “optimistic,” and 35% see it as important.

At roughly this time before the

- 2006 election, 80% of registered voters said they were following the election very closely;

- 2010 election, 76% of registered voters said they were following the election very closely;

- 2014 election, 68% of registered voters say they are following the election very closely. [WP/ABC 10/26]

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