Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Pew's new election poll is brutal for Democrats

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Pew is out with a new poll on the upcoming midterm elections, and the results are downright terrifying for Democrats. By a 47 to 43 percent split, registered voters say they're leaning toward voting Republican. Just over a quarter of voters say they'll consider their vote to be one against Obama; only 16 percent say their vote will be one for the president. And Obama's approval rating is still underwater, as it has been in Pew's polling since last year, with 44 percent of respondents supporting his job performance and 50 percent saying the opposite.

All of that is unequivocally terrible news for Democrats.

Is there any good news for the party? Perhaps this: While generic ballot questions are helpful for gauging the mood of the national electorate, they don't neatly reflect the mood of the electorate in specific states. The 2014 midterms are all about who comes away with control of the Senate. And in the handful of battleground states where GOP wins could flip the upper chamber, recent polling has shown the Democratic incumbents holding their own.

That's not to say those Democratic lawmakers are invulnerable. Anything can change between now and election day. But the point is that what matters more come November this year is not how voters nationwide feel, but how voters in a few toss-up states feel.