Pew Poll: GOP at Strongest Position in Two Decades

Stronger than before wave elections of 1994 and 2010.

In what Business Insider is calling possibly the “worst poll yet for Democrats,” as the midterm elections rapidly approach, the GOP is in a stronger position than it has been in decades, even trumping its momentum going into the wave elections of 1994 and 2010.

According to a new Pew Research-USA Today poll released Monday, the GOP looks poised not only to make gains in both houses, but possibly even wrest control of the U.S. Senate from the Democrats. The poll shows Republicans with a 47-43 lead on generic congressional ballot, up 10 points from October following the much maligned government shutdown, which voters overwhelmingly blamed on the GOP. At that point, Democrats held a 6-point lead over their embattled opponents. Six months later, the momentum appears to be all on the Republicans’ side.

The Pew/USA Today poll confirms what other surveys have found: a marked lack of enthusiasm for Democrats going into the 2014 election cycle. Business Insider reports:

Overall, Democrats are plagued by the still-sluggish economy, the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act, and the undesirable views of President Obama. More voters (26%) say their vote will be "against" the president. Only 16% say their vote will be "for" Obama. And by more than a 2-to-1 margin, voters say they want the next president to pursue policies different from the Obama administration's priorities. 

Some of the other troubling signs for Democrats: Obama’s approval is still in the red, with 44% approving and 50% disapproving. 55% still disapprove of Obamacare, and the public’s opinion on job conditions remain dismal, with 65% believing jobs are hard to find.

All told, Republicans are in better shape than they were in their banner years, 1994 and 2010, where they made massive gains, particularly in the House in 2010. However, the poll results do not quite match the Democrats’ 2006 standings, where they earned a total of 37 seats in the House and Senate.