Why are Democrats winning congressional races?

(cross posted at Partisan Report)

Because — Southern Political Report 

“…Nearly Half Of Voters Don’t Realize Democrats Are In Charge of Congress.” It’s no joke. In this column, I’ll document the polls about congressional approval ratings, the generic congressional vote, and results of a poll on the intelligence of the average American voter.

According to the Real Clear Politics (RCP) poll survey (of several polls between October 16 and October 27), 16 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is doing its job. The remaining 74 percent disapprove of the job the House and Senate are doing. Amazingly, that’s nearly ten points worse than the voters’ view of President George W. Bush.

So you’d expect that this would benefit Republicans in the 2008 election, right? Every day, we learn of another GOP incumbent in danger of losing his or her seat, or how Democrats are going to make huge gains in both houses. In the U.S. Senate, Republicans dread losing the power of the filibuster to block Democratic Party initiatives. The “generic congressional ballot” bears out this tale of woe for the GOP. According to RCP, Democrats are leading this ballot (generic Democrat vs generic Republican) by nearly a ten point margin, (47.8%-38%). How is that possible, given the low Congressional approval ratings?

Conservatives will be quick to blame the media, but if the press was so enamored with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, you can bet that those approval ratings would be biased upwards. Nor can President George W. Bush be blamed for this one necessarily, given that he occupies a separate branch.

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