A poll just released by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has some potentially weighty implications for the November mid-term elections.
The nationwide survey was conducted June 16-20 among 1,802 adults and 1,496 registered voters reached by telephone (cell and landline).
It found that Republican and Democratic candidates are favored equally by registered voters, with a 45-45 percentage split between the two parties.
While Democrats have a substantial advantage among the least engaged group of voters – young people – Republicans have a large advantage among the age groups that are most committed to voting – those 50 and older.
Overall, 56 percent of Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than in previous elections, while 77 percent of registered Republicans say they are "absolutely certain" to vote compared to only 65 percent of Democrats.
By a wide margin, younger voters skew toward the Democratic candidate in their district, but only half of those committed to the party say they're certain to vote come November.
Still more good news for the GOP:
Independent voters are planning to vote for the Republican in their district by a margin of 44 percent to 36 percent.
For Republican voters, however, it's less about Obama than you might guess. Only 52 percent of Republicans think of their vote as "against Obama," as opposed to 64 percent of Democrats who said that about President Bush in June 2006. For Republicans, it's all about Congress, Pew said:
... 66% of those planning to vote for a Republican say the issue of which party controls Congress will be a factor in their vote, compared with 57% of Democratic voters. Four years ago, 68% of Democratic voters cited party control of Congress as an influence on their vote as did 55% of Republican voters.