Dueling Generic Ballot Polls

Dueling Generic Ballot Polls

By Sean Trende - October 4, 2010

Probably the biggest polling news of the day was the Gallup generic ballot poll that showed Republicans leading Democrats 56 percent to 38 percent.  That 18-point lead is predicated upon a "low turnout" scenario, and would represent historic highs for the Republican Party -- it would probably represent the most seats won by either party since the early 70s.

Gallup also produced a model anticipating slightly higher turnout.  Under this model, the Republicans led by 13 points, which is still an historic result in the Gallup model.  Among registered voters, Republicans led by 3 points.

Rasmussen Reports, by contrast, saw the race tightening significantly, with Republicans leading Democrats by only three points, 45 percent to 42 percent.  This represented the closest ballot test in roughly a year.  Of course, the big difference between the two polls is the number of undecideds; it may well be that Democrats are truly stuck at around 40 percent, and undecideds are leaning heavily GOP.

Sean Trende is senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. He is a co-author of the 2014 Almanac of American Politics and author of The Lost Majority. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SeanTrende.

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