October 14, 2010
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR NEWS PUBLIC OPINION POLL OF BATTLEGROUND STATES
SHOWS REPUBLICANS MAINTAINING LEAD, DEMS MAKING UP SOME GROUND

POLL OF NEARLY 100 DISTRICTS ALSO FINDS REPUBLICANS MORE INTERESTED, ENGAGED IN MIDTERMS

An NPR News public opinion poll of nearly 100 battleground districts released this afternoon indicates that likely voters favor Republican congressional candidates over Democratic opponents, but that Democrats have slightly improved their standing since a similar NPR survey in June 2010. Republicans lead Democrats 47 to 44 percent; NPR's poll in June had Republicans with a 49 percent lead, to Democrats' 41 percent. There has also been a narrowing of the gap in Republican battlegrounds, with likely voters favoring Republicans over Democrats 49 percent to 42 percent (in June, the spread was 53 percent to 37 percent). The poll found Republicans to be more interested than Democrats in the midterm election.

The top-line findings and initial analysis of the NPR News poll are available now on the "It's All Politics" blog, and will be reported in full by correspondent Mara Liasson tomorrow on Morning Edition.

Among the findings:

· A majority (52%) of voters in GOP districts approve of their member of Congress. Voters in Democratic districts are more divided (44% approve, 41% disapprove).

· A majority of voters in target Democratic and Republican districts are pessimistic about the country’s direction. Disapproval is higher in Democratic districts (66%) than Republican districts (59%).

· The majority of voters in target Democrat-held districts disapprove of President Obama (55% disapprove, to 41% approve), while voters in Republican districts that are top Democratic targets (they voted for Obama but also elected a Republican to Congress) have a 51% approval of the President.

For the NPR poll, Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glen Bolger surveyed likely voters in the 96 most competitive house districts. These battleground seats – 86 held by Democrats and 10 held by Republicans – represent one-quarter of the House and are considered the most likely to oust incumbents this fall. This is the second NPR News poll of battlegrounds in this election; a survey of 70 districts in June 2010 showed likely voters favoring Republican candidates over Democratic incumbents, 49 percent to 41 percent.

NPR News is providing extensive coverage of the 2010 midterm election across all of its programs and at NPR.org, exploring the issues, candidates, polling and policies from locations across America. All coverage and resources are aggregated at Election 2010: The Midterms, from the "Fighting Words" of the moment (and the people using them, on both sides of the aisle); to the projected "Scorecard" in Congress; to fact-checking campaign rhetoric with "The Message Machine."