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More Americans Now Prefer Republicans to Democrats

Americans sure are fickle. Just a year after sweeping Barack Obama into office, a new poll finds they now favor Republicans over Democrats.

A Gallup poll asked a simple question: For whom would you vote -- an unnamed Democrat or Republican for Congress? 48% said the Republican candidate, 44% the Democrat.

The poll comes a week after Republicans captured the governors' offices in New Jersey and Virginia. The GOP touted the victories as a repudiation of Obama's policies, and a sign of things to come in next year's congressional elections. Democrats brushed that off, but this new poll might give then cause for concern.

The survey says it’s mostly independents switching sides. Back in July, independents were about evenly split. Now they favor the Republican Party by a huge 22-point margin.

Gallup did not say when the last time the GOP had such a poll advantage, but the New York Daily News says:

"2002 was the last especially strong year for the GOP, and the Democrats have been very strong since March 2006."

Gallup's Jeffrey Jones writes that all of this does not bode well for Democrats in 2010:

"Given that Republicans usually have a turnout advantage, if normal turnout patterns prevail in the coming election, prospects for a good Democratic showing appear slim."


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