Among Those Absolutely Certain to Vote, 43% Would Vote Republican and 41% Democrat

NEW YORK, N.Y. – September 28, 2010 –The primaries are over and the sprint is on for the final six weeks of campaigning before Election Day 2010. If the election for the House of Representatives were held today, two in five registered voters (40%) would vote for the Democratic candidate and 36% would vote for the Republican candidate with one in five (19%) not at all sure.

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – TWO-PARTY RACE

 

Total

%

 

Democratic candidate

40

 

Republican candidate

36

 

Other

5

 

Not at all sure

19

 

 

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,620 adults surveyed online between September 14 and 20, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

The parties are mostly holding their bases with voters, as 84% of Republicans are voting for their party’s candidate and 81% of Democrats say they are voting for their candidate. However, Independents are favoring Republicans, as 35% would vote for that party’s candidate for Congress and 23% would vote for the Democratic candidate, while one-quarter of Independents (27%) are still not at all sure for whom they would vote.

 

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – TWO-PARTY RACE

 

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

Democratic candidate

2

81

23

Republican candidate

84

4

35

Other

2

1

14

Not at all sure

12

14

27

 

Among those registered voters who say they are absolutely certain to vote this November, 43% would vote for the Republican candidate, 41% for the Democratic candidate and 12% are not at all sure. The Republicans have a larger advantage when it comes to interest in the election. Almost half (48%) of those registered voters who are extremely or very interested in the election say they would vote for the Republican candidate while 38% would vote for the Democratic candidate.

 

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – TWO-PARTY RACE

 

Voting Intention

Absolutely certain will vote

Absolutely/Very Certain will Vote

Probably Will Vote

%

%

%

Democratic candidate

41

40

40

Republican candidate

43

41

38

Other

4

4

5

Not at all sure

12

14

17

 

Adding in a Tea Party Candidate

If there is a third candidate in the race, representing the Tea Party, Democrats can breathe a small sigh of relief. Among registered voters, 41% would vote for the Democratic candidate, 23% would vote for the Republican, 13% would vote for the Tea Party candidate and 23% are still not at all sure. Among those voters who say they are absolutely certain to vote, 42% would vote Democrat, 26% would vote Republican, 17% would vote for the Tea Party candidate and 15% are not at all sure.

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – THREE-PARTY RACE

 

Total

%

 

Democratic candidate

41

 

Republican candidate

23

 

Tea Party candidate

13

 

Not at all sure

23

 

 

Looking at it by party, Democrats continue to vote for their party’s candidate, as 80% would vote for the Democrat in the race. Republicans, Independents and Tea Party supporters all split their votes. Among Republican voters, three in five (59%) would vote Republican and one in five (21%) would vote for the Tea Party candidate, with 18% not at all sure. Among Independents, 27% would vote for the Democratic candidate, 21% would vote for the Tea Party candidate, 18% would vote for the Republican candidate and over one-third (35%) are not at all sure for whom they would vote. It is just as divided for Tea Party supporters with 13% voting for the Democratic candidate, 36% voting Republican, 31% voting for the Tea Party candidate and 20% who say they are still not at all sure.

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – THREE-PARTY RACE

 

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

Democratic candidate

2

80

27

Republican candidate

59

3

18

Tea Party candidate

21

2

21

Not at all sure

18

14

35

 

So What?

Currently, Americans don’t think Congress is doing a good job. Almost nine in ten (87%) give Congress negative ratings while just 13% give it positive ones. What remains to be seen on November 2nd is if voters are mainly unhappy with Democrats – after all, they are the ones in power, or with all incumbents. Seeing so many incumbents defeated in primaries, as well as seeing establishment candidates lose, as well, makes it seem as if these midterm elections are a complete game-changer. Of course, since Democrats are in power, they may suffer more losses, but it would not be a surprise to see unexpected Republicans lose, too. The morning of November 3rd should provide a very interesting post-mortem to this campaign season.

 

 TABLE 1

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – TWO-PARTY RACE

“If the election for the House of Representatives was being held today, would you vote for the Republican or the Democratic candidate?”

Base: U.S. adults registered to vote

 

Total

Political Party

Tea Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Supporter

Member

%

%

%

%

%

%

Democratic candidate

40

2

81

23

16

6

Republican candidate

36

84

4

35

66

82

Other

5

2

1

14

6

6

Not at all sure

19

12

14

27

12

7

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 TABLE 1B

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – TWO-PARTY RACE – VOTING INTEREST AND INTENTION

“If the election for the House of Representatives was being held today, would you vote for the Republican or the Democratic candidate?”

Base: U.S. adults registered to vote

 

Total

Voting Interest

Voting Intention

Extremely/

Very Interested (NET)

Interested

Not Interested (NET)

Absolutely certain will vote

Absolutely/Very Certain will Vote

Probably Will Vote

Will Not Vote (NET)

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Democratic candidate

40

38

39

34

41

40

40

43

Republican candidate

36

48

43

12

43

41

38

10

Other

5

4

4

9

4

4

5

6

Not at all sure

19

10

14

45

12

14

17

41

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 2

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – THREE-PARTY RACE

“If the election for the House of Representatives was being held today and all three were an option, who would you vote for?”

Base: U.S. adults registered to vote

 

Total

Political Party

Tea Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Supporter

Member

%

%

%

%

%

%

Democratic candidate

41

2

80

27

13

7

Republican candidate

23

59

3

18

36

27

Tea Party candidate

13

21

2

21

31

55

Not at all sure

23

18

14

35

20

11

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 TABLE 2B

MIDTERM ELECTIONS – THREE-PARTY RACE – VOTING INTEREST AND INTENTION

“If the election for the House of Representatives was being held today and all three were an option, who would you vote for?”

Base: U.S. adults registered to vote

 

Total

Voting Interest

Voting Intention

Extremely/ Very Interested (NET)

Interested

Not Interested (NET)

Absolutely Certain

 to vote

Absolutely/

Very Certain

will Vote

Probably Will Vote

Will Not Vote (NET)

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

 

Democratic candidate

41

40

40

30

42

41

41

37

Republican candidate

23

29

26

12

26

25

24

10

Tea Party candidate

13

20

18

*

17

16

14

2

Not at all sure

23

11

16

58

15

17

20

51

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%

 

 TABLE 3

CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING

“How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

Total

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

13

4

24

7

    Excellent

2

1

5

1

    Pretty good

10

4

19

6

NEGATIVE

87

96

76

93

    Only fair

38

25

45

39

    Poor

49

71

31

54

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 TABLE 4

CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

“How would you rate the overall job the Congress is doing?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

TREND

Positive*

Negative**

%

%

2010

September

13

87

 

August

15

85

June

14

86

May

15

85

April

16

84

March

10

90

Jan.

16

84

2009

Dec.

17

83

 

Oct.

16

84

Sept.

19

81

Aug.

22

78

June

25

75

March

29

71

2008

October

10

86

 

August

18

77

June

13

83

February

20

76

2007

December

17

79

 

October

20

77

April

27

69

February

33

62

2006

September

24

73

 

May

18

80

February

25

71

January

25

72

*Positive = excellent or pretty good.  **Negative = only fair or poor.

Note: Prior to March, 2009, this question was asked by telephone.

  

TABLE 5

Voting Likelihood

“An election for the House of Representatives will be held on November 2nd.  How certain are you that you will vote?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

Total

Political Party

Tea Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Supporter

Member

%

%

%

%

%

%

Will Vote

82

91

85

80

93

98

     Absolutely certain I will vote

56

68

59

51

71

83

     Very certain I will vote

13

13

13

13

13

8

     I probably will vote

13

10

13

16

10

7

Will Not Vote

11

7

9

11

5

2

     I probably will not vote

6

4

6

6

3

     I am certain I will not vote

5

3

4

5

2

2

Not sure if I will vote

7

3

6

9

2

*

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

“*” indicates less than 0.5%; “- “ indicates no response

  

TABLE 6

ELECTION INTEREST

“How interested are you in the House of Representatives elections this year?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

Total

Political Party

Tea Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Supporter

Member

%

%

%

%

%

%

Interested

65

78

64

63

83

95

     Extremely interested

27

38

25

23

42

58

     Somewhat interested

19

23

19

19

22

23

     Interested

19

17

20

21

19

14

Not Interested

35

22

36

37

17

5

     Somewhat interested

22

15

24

24

14

5

     Not interested at all

13

7

12

13

3

*

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%

  

TABLE 7

TEA PARTY FAMILIARITY

“How familiar are you with the Tea Party Movement?”

Base: All U.S. adults

 

March 2010

May

2010

June

2010

August

2010

September 2010

%

%

%

%

%

Familiar (NET)

76

85

86

86

87

     Very familiar

15

22

20

20

23

     Somewhat familiar

39

44

48

44

45

     Not that familiar

22

19

18

22

19

Not familiar (NET)

24

15

14

14

13

     Not at all familiar

16

10

11

11

11

     Never heard of

8

5

4

3

2

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 8

TEA PARTY SUPPORT

“Do you support or oppose the Tea Party Movement?”

[Asked of all adults excluding those who are “not at all familiar” or “have never heard of” the Tea Party Movement]

Base: All U.S. adults

 

March 2010

May 2010

June

2010

Aug

2010

Sept

2010

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Support (NET)

33

38

37

38

39

68

18

43

     Strongly support

14

18

16

15

15

28

7

16

     Somewhat support

19

20

22

23

23

40

11

27

Oppose (NET)

23

30

31

29

31

6

52

28

     Somewhat oppose

9

11

11

11

14

5

21

15

     Strongly oppose

14

19

19

18

17

1

32

14

Not at all sure

20

17

17

19

18

16

17

20

Not asked/Not familiar at all/Never heard of

24

15

14

14

13

11

13

9

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 9

TEA PARTY MEMBER

“Would you describe yourself as a member of the Tea Party?”

[Asked of all adults excluding those who are “not at all familiar” or “have never heard of” the Tea Party Movement]

Base: All U.S. adults

 

May

2010

June

2010

Aug

2010

Sept 2010

Political Party

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

10

8

7

6

13

2

7

No

75

77

79

80

77

85

84

Not asked/Not familiar at all/ Never heard of

15

14

14

13

11

13

9

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 14 to 20, 2010 among 2,620 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

 

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

 

J38847

Q1215, 1220, 1225, 1230, 1235, 1240, 1245, 1250

 

The Harris Poll® #112, September 28, 2010

By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth Research, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

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