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Gallup: Independents Favor GOP By 12%

By Kyle Trygstad

Independents are sticking with Republicans in the 2010 midterms, Gallup's latest monthly tracking poll shows. In June, 46 percent of unaffiliated registered voters said they preferred the Republican in their congressional district's House race, compared with 34 percent who leaned toward the Democrat.

That's largely how the numbers have broken down every month since March, and it's good news for Republicans who are aiming for the majority in Congress. Since 92 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of Republicans favor their own party's candidate, the leaning of independent voters is a "key component in determining overall preferences leading up to Election Day, and the eventual outcome of the election," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones writes.

President Obama's standing among registered independent voters could be weighing down the numbers at the congressional level. Since March, an average of 42 percent of independents have approved of the job he's doing as president, while 51 percent have disapproved.

"Independents' preference for the Republican congressional candidate in their district has been consistent this year," writes Jones. "Still, one in five independents remain undecided. The preferences of these voters, as well as which independents turn out on Election Day, will have a major impact on the direction and magnitude of seat change in the midterm elections."

The two parties are currently statistically tied in the generic ballot test, as Democrats hold a 0.4 percentage point lead in the RCP Average. However, because Republicans traditionally have stronger turnout and polls have shown the party is more enthusiastic about voting this year, Democrats need to extend their lead in the generic ballot to feel better going into November.