Crunch Time

Dems Gain in Polls

Democrats have cut in half the Republicans’ advantage in the generic ballot—which party’s candidate voters prefer—since early September, but more people still say they would rather vote for GOP candidates than Democrats, 49 percent to 43 percent, according to a Washington Post poll. Four years ago, when Democrats regained a congressional majority, they had a 12-point advantage on this question. At the time, voters thought Democrats were the party they trusted more to deal with the biggest problems facing the country by a 19-point margin. Today, the parties are almost evenly split on that question—just as they were in 1994, when Republicans swept into office. Meanwhile, a Rasmussen poll shows the GOP leading the generic ballot 45 percent to 42 percent (last week the pollster showed a 6 percentage-point spread between the parties). But a Gallup poll shows Republicans with a comfortable margin in two voter-turnout scenarios: With higher turnout, the GOP’s advantage runs 53 percent to 40 percent, and in case of a lower turnout , Republicans lead 56 percent to 38 percent.