(Week of 5/26/2012) It is no secret that the Republican Party has been in perpetual danger every two years for a decade now of winning no Congressional seats in New England. Currently the New England delegation boasts two Republican House Members from New Hampshire and not one other anywhere else in New England.
The problems for Republican Members—or maybe for incumbents from both parties—may prove broader than that. In the generic Congressional vote, Democrats lead throughout the Northeast by a whopping 40%-25%--and Republicans lead in the Midwest and West, while Democrats hold only a slim lead in the South. That’s not surprising—Democrats have held all or most New England seats through many cycles of Congressional races and the generic vote currently reflects that consistent preference.
However, Congress is held in contempt from sea to shining sea. Only 6% approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest Congressional job approval score seen in the history of YouGov polling. At 6% nationally, there is no subgroup that admires Congress, and with majorities among Independents and among high-income, high-education voters—all groups capable of orchestrating a national revolt against Congress—reporting in excess of 50% expressing strong disapproval of Congress, incumbents could face a wave that would upend scores of unsuspecting incumbents seeking reelection. That would complicate the partisan math, even in reliably partisan regions.
Photo source: Press Association