With exactly one week left until election day, the state of the race continues to take shape. Three major polling series have published their final pre-election national data this week. We told you yesterday about the NBC/WSJ survey giving Republicans a staggering 11-point lead on the Congressional ballot, which may be overly generous. CNN's new poll is an outlier in the opposite direction, giving Democrats a one-point advantage with likely voters. Tellingly, it took a preposterous D+10 sample to achieve that number -- which smells rancid even to those of us who've grown intensely skeptical of poll "unskewing." Despite that double-digit partisan sample lead (the 2012 electorate was D+6 in 2012, and D+0 in 2010), Democrats are still tied on the ballot question, a majority of respondents still disapprove of President Obama's job performance, and the GOP leads among independents by 17 points. Fresh numbers from the Washington Post and ABC News effectively split the difference. Advantage, Republicans:
Republicans enter the final week of the midterm campaign holding higher ground than the Democrats, aided by public dissatisfaction with President Obama’s leadership, with the overall direction of the country and with the federal government’s ability to deal with major problems, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Driving attitudes is a pervasive sense of a country in trouble. Overwhelming majorities say the country is badly off-track and give the economy negative ratings. Economic expectations are little better today than they were at this time four years ago. Six in 10 say they cannot trust the government in Washington to do what is right — the same as a year ago in the aftermath of the government shutdown and the botched rollout of the federal Web site for the Affordable Care Act. With multiple crises confronting the country — including the spread of Ebola in West Africa and cases here at home, as well as threats from Islamic State militants — a majority now says the government’s ability to deal with big problems has declined in the past few years. Among those who say this, more — by 3 to 1 — blame Obama and the Democrats rather than Republicans in Congress.
Key findings from the survey, which featured a D+3 likely voter (LV) partisan sample:
(1) Republicans lead by six points (50-44) on the generic Congressional ballot among likely voters. Democrats' gender gap with women is just five points, while men back the GOP by a massive margin (56/39)
(2) President Obama's approval rating remains mired in the low 40's with a majority expressing dissatisfaction, (42/56) among LV's. Nearly half of respondents who say Obama is a factor in their vote, and they break against the president's party by a two-to-one margin.
(3) Independent LV's are breaking dramatically for the GOP, at (54/37).
(4) Republicans lead by five points on the question of which party is best prepared to handle the country's "main problems." And then there's this...
Post-ABC poll: In contested Senate states, Republicans' lead generic House ballot by 18 points (sim margin in 2010) http://t.co/CZioAF636x— Post Polls (@PostPolls) October 28, 2014
I'll leave you with a national security-themed closing argument from the RNC, focusing on reports that President Obama is developing a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility, in defiance of Congress' clear will and lopsided public opinion: