Gallup: Election day 2010 could be historic

Michael Barone analyzes the latest Gallup poll results on the midterm election. He looks at two different turnout models, and neither one looks very promising for the party in power:

Late yesterday, Gallup came out with new numbers on the generic ballot question—which party’s candidates would you vote for in the election for House of Representatives? Among registered voters Gallup shows Republicans ahead by 46%-42%, about as good a score as Republicans have ever had (and about as bad a score as Democrats have ever had) since Gallup started asking the question in 1942.

However, Gallup also shows the results for two different turnout models. Under its “high turnout model” Republicans lead 53%-40%. Under its “low turnout model” Republicans lead 56%-38%.

These two numbers, if translated into popular votes in the 435 congressional districts, suggest huge gains for Republicans and a Republican House majority the likes of which we have not seen since the election cycles of 1946 or even 1928. For months, people have been asking me if this year looks like ’94. My response is that the poll numbers suggest it looks like 1994, when Republicans gained 52 seats in a House of 435 seats. Or perhaps somewhat better for Republicans and worse for Democrats. The Gallup high turnout and low turnout numbers suggest it looks like 1894, when Republicans gained more than 100 seats in a House of approximately 350 seats.

Barone does offer a caveat, as Gallup’s results can be volatile. Still, he says he keeps seeing poll results from “surprising districts” that tend to support the Gallup results. And The Real Clear Politics average of results from recent surveys by a number of pollsters, with the Gallup likely voter results factored in, suggests the GOP is ahead by six points, which follows the trend of that past couple of weeks.

Bottom line: the Republicans are likely to reclaim the House and possibly the Senate. And if Gallup is right, it may even be a blowout of historic proportions.

- JP

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