Midterm Madness

Republican Lead Widens

Things continue to look bleak for Democrats going into the midterm elections, a new Wall Street Journal poll reports. Republicans have a 50 percent to 43 percent advantage among likely voters, up three points from last month. The Republican pollster for the Journal says the lead, if it continues, would result in Republicans picking up 52 or 53 House seats, surpassing the 39 they need to get control. In another sign of the enthusiasm gap, Tea Party supporters make up 35 percent of likely voters, while just 56 percent of people who voted for President Obama in 2008 say they are very interested in the midterms. But it’s not all doom and gloom for the Democrats. The Democratic offensive in recent weeks has increased support among African Americans and young women, and lessened the Republican advantage among senior citizens. In fact, in the Midwest, where the Democrats were losing in August, they now lead 47 percent to 42 percent. A majority of voters describe their vote as a referendum on the president—35 percent say their vote is meant to signal support, 34 percent opposition. That’s more than said so in 2006 about President Bush.