Today brings a new poll from Democracy Corps titled “Revolt against DC and the Republican Congress.” And it’s true: their polling shows that even in Republican districts, the GOP’s brand has taken a beating.
But once you get past the generic questions and ask about approval/disapproval of actual members of Congress, the picture turns sharply. I’ve combined two charts to show what happens when you ask people in battleground districts about their own representatives:
In Democratic districts, net incumbent approval has plummeted by 11 points, from +8 approval to +3 disapproval. In Republican districts, incumbent approval has gone down only 4 points. You see the same results when they ask a question about warmth of feeling toward incumbents: It’s down 7 points in Republican districts and 9 points in Democratic districts.
This isn’t good news for Democrats. It’s true that attitudes toward the Republican Party have taken a bigger hit than attitudes toward the Democratic Party, but attitudes toward actual incumbents are exactly the opposite. And in elections, that’s what matters.
POSTSCRIPT: There’s also a very weird result (on slide 20) showing that voters in Republican districts are more eager for their representatives to work with President Obama than voters in Democratic districts. I have no idea what to make of this. In fact, it’s so strange that it makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with this poll.