Republican Incumbents Out of Touch and Increasingly Vulnerable

These ‘no-tax’ Republicans are out of touch with their districts, polling below 50 percent, and losing ground.

The latest Democracy Corps survey of the Republican House battleground shows the incumbents out of touch with their districts, a climate less favorable to Republicans, weakening support and vulnerability to attack.  With numbers virtually identical to those of Democratic incumbents leading into the 2010 disaster, the House is surely in play in 2012.[1] The president is now dead even in these districts, while the image of everything Republican has fallen, above all, ‘the Republican Congress.’  These ‘no-tax’ Republicans are out of touch with their districts, polling below 50 percent, and losing ground, particularly with independents where Democrats trail by only 6 points. This is a unique survey conducted in the battleground of the most competitive House seats for 2012: 48 of the 60 were carried by Obama in 2008. These are swing districts and are where control of Congress will likely be decided in 2012.

Key Findings:

  • These Republicans are weakening. They have lost half of their vote margin since September, falling to 47 percent, well below their vote in 2010 election.  Just 37 percent believe they deserve re-election and their approval hovers around 40 percent.  Their lead evaporates after hearing balanced attacks, falling to 44 percent.
  • These incumbents are crashing with independents. Since September, incumbents have lost 13 points from their margin here, and Democrats trail among independents by only 6 points.
  • These incumbents are weakened by a Republican Party and Republican Congress that are intensely unpopular. Only 31 percent now give the Republican Party a warm rating; more than half (52 percent) give the Republican Congress a cool rating – leading the brand crash for the party.  And very important, President Obama is now running even with both potential challengers – a marked improvement since September.  As he improves, the Democratic challengers in these districts have an opportunity to gain among the new progressive base that elected Obama in 2008.
  • These incumbents are profoundly out of touch with voters’ budget priorities, particularly on taxes and entitlements.

A press briefing will be held on Monday, December 12th at 11am EST. Join Stanley Greenberg, co-founder, along with James Carville, of Democracy Corps and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Page Gardner, Founder and President of the Voter Participation Center and Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund to discuss the results of this poll. Please call 800.672.3665 and visit our WebEx presentation. Due to anticipated high call volume, please call in 10-15 minutes before the start time to ensure you are placed on the call promptly.

[1] This memo is based on a unique survey of 1000 likely 2012 voters in 60 Republican battleground districts conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Democracy Corps December 4-7, 2011. Unless otherwise noted, margin of error=+/- 3.1% at 95% confidence.

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