Republicans or Obama, Voters Can't Decide

One of the striking things about the current political moment is the extent to which anti-incumbent sentiment hasn’t abated since last year. The poor economy has left Americans in a continuous state of anger toward their elected officials, regardless of political affiliation. In particular, according to the latest poll from United Technologies and National Journal, voters are down on both the congressional GOP and President Obama.

When asked what outcome they would prefer in next year’s elections, “44 percent of registered voters said they would like to see a Republican elected, while 42 percent want Obama to win a second term,” a statistical tie. Likewise, when asked if Republicans should retain control of the House, ”41 percent said yes and 43 percent said they would prefer Democrats to recapture the majority." Overall, the public is evenly split; 35 percent of Americans want Democrats to retain the White House and take the House, while 34 percent of Americans want the reverse –- a Republican majority in the House, and a Republican president in the Oval Office.

On the whole, the survey offers mixed results for President Obama. His margin among all white voters is no worse than it was in 2008, while his margin among college-educated whites has improved since the last election –- he leads by 45 percent to 42 percent. But that’s been offset by his worsening performance among nonwhite voters. Obama won 80 percent of nonwhite voters in 2008, but in the survey, 30 percent of nonwhite voters say they prefer a Republican president. Obama still leads a Republican candidate -– 45 percent to 39 percent –- but that remains a precarious position.