GOP, conservatives seen dominating November turnout

October 8, 2010

USA-POLITICS/Bad news, Democrats.

The crowd most likely to vote on Nov. 2 is a lot more Republican and a lot more conservative than the one that gave Congress to the GOP in 1994.

So says a new Gallup survey that forecasts Republican and conservative majorities at polling stations for the congressional mid-term elections.

Fifty-seven percent of people who call themselves likely voters are Republican or lean Republican, while 54 percent are conservative, according to Gallup.

Compare that to pre-election polling data from 1994 which showed likely voters to be 49 percent Republican and 40 percent conservative.

Meanwhile, Democrats have slipped from 33 percent of likely voters to 30 percent over the course of those same 16 years.

Liberals have grown, but only from 12 percent to 18 percent.

The body politic’s increasing polarization might be seen in a shrinking crowd of moderates, who dropped from 48 percent of likely voters in 1994 to just 27 percent this year, according to Gallup.

The survey, which has a 2 percentage point error margin, assumes a voter turnout of around 40 percent. 
Of course, the news isn’t all bad for Democrats. 
The Gallup data doesn’t take into account the fact that people vote for Congress district by district and that years of gerrymandering has turned many of those districts into partisan ghettos. 
KUNKLEThe findings don’t reflect regional differences, either. For example, a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Democrats leading in statewide races in California, while a new Quinnipiac poll suggests a strong Democratic showing in New York.
Then again, one might expect Democrats to lead the polling in states like New York and California. 

Photo credits: Reuters/Chris Keane (Voters in West Virginia); Reuters/Wim McNamee (Republican with Head Gear); Reuters/Gary Hershorn (Democrat with Head Gear)

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