Generic Vote Shaping Up to Be Like 2010 Again for GOP

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

One interesting, but not always precisely reliable, measure of partisan preference is what pollsters call the generic vote — which party’s candidates people would vote for in elections to the House of Representatives. Over the past two decades, responses have tended to underpredict Republicans’ performance in subsequent elections, though that was the case more in 1992-2002 than recently.

The last two months have seen sharp shifts in the generic vote, as National Journal’s Charlie Cook notes, with Democrats peaking during the government shutdown in the first half of October and then a sharp swing to Republicans after the spotlight shifted to the Obamacare rollout. (The Huffington Pollster provides a vivid graphic on this.)

The current RealClearPolitics average of recent polls shows Republicans leading Democrats 43 percent to 41 percent (they actually put it at 43.5 percent to 41 percent, but I prefer to round off to integer percentages and always round the .5 percentages down). I went back to RealClearPolitics’ 2010 figures to see how they compared.

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