Gallup Poll: High Turnout Won't Save House Democrats
Generic-ballot surveys show double-digit leads for GOP in any scenario
Around the State
Running low- and high-turnout scenarios, Gallup found that Republicans are favored over Democrats in both cases on so-called "generic ballots" for U.S. House races.
In the low-turnout trial, the GOP wallops Democrats 56-38. In the high-turnout sample, the GOP still beats Democrats 53-40.
Gallup called those margins unprecedented.
"What should worry Democrats most is that the low-turnout model is typical of recent midterm elections," John Fund wrote in the Wall Street Journal's Political Diary e-newsletter.
But even if Democrats manage to raise the turnout in congressional districts, Republicans are still favored by double digits, according to Gallup.
Michael Barone, co-author of the "Almanac of American Politics," says either model would produce "a Republican House majority the likes of which we have not seen since the election cycles of 1946 or even 1928."
The Gallup projections are ominous for Democrats in Florida, where at least three of the party's 10 House seats are rated "competitive" or "tossups" by prognosticators at the Cook and Rothenberg political reports.
Daniel Webster, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson in Central Florida's 8th Congressional District, was heartened by Gallup's findings, and eager for voters to turn out.
"All we know is that the more voters learn about Daniel Webster and Alan Grayson, the more energized they become about electing Webster to Congress," said Kathy Mears, a spokeswoman for Webster.
But the well-funded Grayson, who has begun launching hard-hitting campaign ads against Webster, was unfazed.
"Our race is unique," said Grayson spokesman Sam Drzymala. "We've invested $200,000 in building an exceptional field campaign, which has made over 500,000 door knocks and calls so far.
"We expect excellent turnout for Grayson voters this year."
Elsewhere, Republicans feel that the polls, and the voters, are swinging their way.
"While I'm always a bit cautious about reading too much into polls, I believe (Gallup) shows that the vast majority of the American public is simply fed up with a politics-as-usual in Washington, and are looking for real leaders, not politicians, to move our country forward," said Josh Grodin, spokesman for Allen West, who is locked in a tight race with Rep. Ron Klein in South Florida's 22nd Congressional District.
Grodin added: "While optimistic, we must step up our game, and as Allen always says, 'run through the tape' on Nov. 2."
Klein's camp did not respond to a request for comment. Nor did Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, who is facing a stiff challenge from state Rep. Sandy Adams.
National Democrats downplayed the Gallup survey, pointing to a Rasmussen poll that showed a much smaller GOP edge among likely voters -- roughly 3 percent on generic ballots.
But even that modest margin, Fund calculated, "would translate into a GOP House gain of 35 to 40 seats, hovering just around what Republicans would need to take control of the speaker's gavel."
Indeed, it's a sign of irony or desperation that Democrats would cite Rasmussen, whom they typically dismiss as a Republican-leaning pollster.
Contact Kenric Ward at email@example.com or at (772) 801-5341.