This took me by surprise …and for a poll like this to take me by surprise, it must be surprising!
For just the second time in more than five years of daily or weekly tracking, Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 41% would vote for their district’s Republican candidate while 38% would choose the Democrat. Thirty-one percent (31%) of conservative Democrats said they would vote for their district’s Republican candidate.
Overall, the GOP gained two points this week, while the Democrats lost a point in support. Still, it’s important to note that the GOP’s improved position comes primarily from falling Democratic support. Democrats are currently at their lowest level of support in the past year while Republicans are at the high water mark.
Democrats began the year holding a six- or seven-point lead over the GOP for the first several weeks of 2009. That began to slip in early February and the Republicans actually took a two-point lead for a single week in the middle of March. Since then, the results have ranged from dead even to a four point lead for the Democrats.
These numbers tend to bounce a fair bit, but it will be interesting to see what these numbers do over time. I might have to add these numbers to the monthly poll roundup that I’ve decided to run from now on.