(Chicago, IL) – September 23, 2010. The Tea Party has finally stirred a tempest in the Democrats’ cup.
In one week’s time, the victories of odd-ball Tea Party candidates, like U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, has finally shaken up the U.S. electorate, pushing Democrats ahead in two new national polls, thanks to gains among democratic and independent voters.
Gallup shows Democrats have erased a six-point GOP lead in the generic congressional ballot and now lead by one-point.
Gallup’s generic ballot for Congress for the week of Sept. 13-19 shows a 46% Democratic and 45% Republican split in registered voters’ preferences for the midterm congressional elections. It is the second week out of the last three in which the two parties have been virtually tied.
Gallup’s tracking shows a shift from a 49% to 43% Republican advantage in August to a 46% to 45% GOP advantage so far in September. Both of these estimates are based on very large samples, with more than 7,000 interviews conducted in August and more than 5,600 so far in September.
In addition to Gallup, Zogby also reveals that Democrats have vaulted seven-points in the last week and now hold a one-point edge.
Democrats have taken a one percentage point lead over Republicans on which party’s candidate voters intend to choose in the Congressional election; and President Barack Obama’s approval rating has increased to 49%.
These results from a Zogby Interactive poll conducted from Sept. 17-20 are the first since mid-May that found the Democrats ahead in the Congressional generic ballot question. In an interactive poll conducted from Sept. 10-14, Republicans held a 47%-41% lead.
On the Congressional generic ballot, support for Democrats from party members goes from 78% to 86%; and from independents, the change for Democrats increases from 33% to 35%.
Finally, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on September 19 also has the Democrats up by one-point, 46-45, on the generic congressional ballot.
The loony portraits of Tea Party candidates now seem to breaking the GOP momentum approximately 40 days before election day. A stalling GOP momentum could help Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) hold on to their majorities in the Illinois legislature.
Though it may be too late to salvage Governor Pat Quinn‘s bumbling campaign against Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), U.S. Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias, locked in a tight battle with U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, might squeeze past the gaffe-prone Kirk.