Republican leaders and conservative pundits have spun Democrat Kathy Hochul’s upset win in New York’s 26th Congressional District as exceptional – with peculiar ballot lines, Tea Party independents, quality of the candidates, and Democratic message discipline. We concede: yard signs in Upstate New York did read “Save Medicare: Vote Hochul.”
But our national poll completed on Wednesday shows that New York’s 26th is not alone. It is an advance indicator of a sharp pull back from Republicans, particularly those in the House. Disapproval of the Republicans in the House of Representatives has surged from 46 percent in February to 55 percent in April to a striking 59 percent now.
Disapproval outnumbers approval two-to-one; intense disapproval by three-to-one. For the first time in more than a year, the Democrats are clearly even in the named Congressional ballot – an 8-point swing from the election – and Obama has made a marked gain in his job approval and vote against Mitt Romney with the President now leading by 4 points. This period captured the introduction of the Republican budget plan and vote by the House and voters do not like what they see. Perhaps most notably, this survey flags a major retreat from the Republican approach to deficits and spending, the economy, and jobs. As the Republicans have unveiled their plans and approach during this four-month debate on the deficit, priorities and the economy, they have pushed many voters away.
 This memo is based on a survey of 1,481 likely 2012 nationwide conducted May 21-25, 2011. Margin of error +/- 2.5 at 95% confidence unless otherwise noted. This survey included an oversample of voters in the Rising American Electorate, including 200 unmarried women, 200 youth and 80 people of color. The oversample was commissioned by Women’s Voices, Women Vote Action Fund and results focusing on those critical voters will be reported in a separate memo.