Although Democrats hold a 51 to 37 percent lead in congressional races this fall, Republicans hold a relative edge on many key issues.
However, the most startling finding of a recent Harris-ABC News poll of 1,500 likely voters is that by 42 to 26 percent, they think the Democrats will do a better job in "giving some tax relief." The GOP has made the Kemp-Roth bill, which would cut federal taxes by 30 percent over a three-year period, a centerpiece in this year's campaign.
But these results indicate that the more the GOP talks up a massive tax cut, the more this talk sounds like campaign-time promises.
On a number of key issues, however, the Republicans are doing quite well. In terms of party registration, the Democrats hold a 52 to 26 percent edge; this means that any issue on which the GOP is able to draw within 5 points of the Democrats can be viewed as a good issue for them.
Here are some issues on which the Republicans are doing relatively well:
On keeping inflation under control, the issue considered most important by voters, the Democrats hold a 33 to 32 percent lead on the question of which party can do better.
On cutting federal spending, the Republicans are preferred by 35 to 32 percent.
On "keeping the military strength of the United States at least as strong as the Russians," the results show a tie at 34 percent.
On supporting stronger measures to control crime, the Democrats lead, 33 to 29 percent.
On backing an arms limitation agreement with the Soviets, the Democrats lead, 34 to 29 percent.
The Democrats hold a clear lead on two other issues besides the tax-relief question.
By 52 to 19 percent, they are perceived as more capable of "helping the elderly and the poor get a better break."
By 52 to 19, they are perceived as more capable of "helping the elderly and the poor get a better break."
On passing an energy bill that would make the United States more energy self-sufficient, the Democrats hold a 37 to 26 percent lead.