A new poll of 50 battleground Congressional districts, conducted by Democracy Corps, finds Democrats likely to make solid gains in the 2012 election cycle:
This leads to a congressional race that is dead-even in the battleground. After winning these seats by a collective 14 points in 2010, these Republicans now lead generic Democratic challengers by just 2 points, 44 to 46 percent, and stand well below the critical 50 percent mark. The race is dead even in the top tier of the 25 most competitive seats—46 percent for the Democrats versus 45 percent for the Republicans. In the next 25 seats, the Republicans have a slight 42 to 47 percent advantage.
For comparison, in July 2009, after the luster of President Obama’s inauguration had already begun to fade, the Democratic incumbents in our battleground of 40 districts had a 6-point advantage over a generic Republican challenger. 36 of these 40 Democrats went on to lose their seats. And in June of 2007, in the top 35 most competitive Republican-held districts, the incumbents also held a 6-point lead. 19 of those 35 Republicans went on to lose their seats.
It would seem Democrats might be gaining thanks to the fact that Congressional Republicans haven’t done a good job of winning over the public, and as a result of several new Republican governors dinging the brand and seeing their popularity plummet thanks to high-profile fights with public-sector unions.
The conventional wisdom is that Democrats will likely make some gains in 2012 with a friendly presidential year turnout, but this poll indicates there is at least the possibility that Democrats could possibly retake the House in 2012. Of course, that is still a long ways off and a lot could happen before then.