Republicans have surged in the polls, according to Gallup. On a generic ballot for the November congressional midterm elections, GOP candidates have moved ahead of Democrats, 49 percent to 43 percent. That's two points better than the Republicans' largest earlier lead, back in April. It's common for the opposition party to see its numbers perk up in the middle of a president's term, but why the sudden Republican leap? (Watch a Fox News discussion about the GOP's rising numbers)
The BP oil disaster is making Dems look bad: Though Obama mobilized his administration early to deal with the BP oil spill, says liberal commentator Taylor Marsh in her blog, he had no visible "point person" broadcasting everything the government was doing, so "all anyone saw was BP’s floundering, the oil pouring into the ocean, with no federal effort in sight." That just fueled the perception that "the federal government is incompetent and so is everyone in Washington who runs it."
"Is BP's blowout hitting Obama and Democrats?"
Economic worries are dragging down Democrats: Don't forget, Gallup took this poll as Europe's debt crisis sent American stocks into a nosedive and fueled "concern about the economy and spending," says Sean Trende in RealClearPolitics. It's worth noting, however, that the poll shows Republicans are significantly more enthusiastic about voting in the fall — so, once Gallup starts screening for likely voters, the GOP lead may grow greater still.
"Republicans jump out to historic lead in Gallup generic ballot"
Independents are drifting to the GOP: Anti-incumbent fever is making this a big year for independents, says Susan Davis in The Wall Street Journal. Gallup found that a growing number of voters don't identify with either party, but when you ask these people who they prefer in a generic ballot, they're increasingly likely to pick the Republican. A lot can happen between now and November, but at this point "the question is not whether Republicans will gain seats in the House this fall, but rather how many."
"Gallup: GOP lead surges on generic ballot"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to deep fry a turkey
- 10 things you need to know today: November 27, 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
Subscribe to the Week