The Washington Post

Republican polls hold steady.

One poll number to keep your eye on is the generic congressional ballot. Congress has been near historic lows in voter approval. But the generic ballot also confirms that support for Republicans in Congress is holding up. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Republicans and Democrats are currently essentially tied.

Add Mitt Romney's consistently strong poll numbers and it looks at the moment like Republicans are in fairly healthy shape. In fact, the generic ballot holds good news for the GOP: Republicans in Congress aren't receiving more of the blame for broken politics than the Democrats are.

If a down draft was developing that could remove the Republicans from the majority in the House of Representatives and affect the top of the ballot, it would have revealed itself in the polling by now.

Here's what the generic ballot has showed us in the recent past. In 2008, the Democrats ended the campaign with almost an 11-point advantage. In July 2008, Democrats already had a double-digit lead.  By the 2010 midterm elections, when the Democrats were swept from power and Obamacare was at the forefront, the Republicans had a seven-point advantage.

Well, Obamacare is back in the news and President Obama is a much weaker candidate than he was in 2008. The election is still a long way off, but I wouldn't trade Obama's problems for Romney's problems, and I wouldn't want to be where the Democrats in Congress are either.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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