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CBS News Poll shows more likely voters will choose Republicans, greater GOP enthusiasm, and 39% approval for Obama

by | Oct 30, 2014

By Dave Andrusko

poll-image  With the mid-term elections just five days away, we will be inundated with polling data. The trick is not to drown in minutiae—or allow questionable coverage of the results to mislead us.

Several astute commentators reached the same conclusion any fair-minded reader would come to if they read the entire CBS News report about its latest poll: that the real news is buried well into the story. What is that?

For starters that the survey of 1,269 adults nationwide, including 1,079 registered voters shows that Republicans have a 7 point advantage in the national Congressional ballot. That is, 47% say they will support the Republican candidate to 40% who’ll support the Democratic candidate.  As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air notes, if you add “leaners,” there is an 8 point GOP advantage.

   Since traditionally these “generic” questions (no name is given, just the party label) tilt to the advantage of Democrats, the real margin may be larger. Among independents, the Republican advantage is a whopping 18 points—46% to 28%.

  President Obama’s approval numbers are near their all-time low in the CBS News Poll—a dismal 39%. And because the President has more than once made the point that while he is not on the ballot his policies are, this does not bode well for Democrats, both in the House and the Senate.

   One other point. You will likely read about the lack of “enthusiasm” among the electorate, which may be true. But consider

Thirty-two percent of voters are paying a lot of attention to the campaign, a figure that has steadily risen since September, and is similar to the percentage who said the same four years ago.

  Moreover even if overall enthusiasm is down, what does the following from the CBS News story about its own poll tell us?

Four in ten voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year compared to past elections. Forty-seven percent say they are less enthusiastic, up 13 points from the 34 percent who said that in October 2010. Republican voters (48 percent) are more likely than Democratic voters (42 percent) to say they are more enthusiastic.

    More tomorrow.

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