Could Democrats take back the House of Representatives in 2014? A new poll indicates it’s within reach.
A new survey of 25 GOP-held districts found falling support for Republican representatives following the 16-day government shutdown. In 15 of those districts, incumbent Republicans trailed generic Democrats. When voters were told their Republican representatives had supported the shutdown, eleven more districts showed a generic Democrat in the lead and another showed a tie.
The poll is the third in a series, conducted by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling and funded by the activist organization MoveOn.org. Cumulatively, the polls have found 37 Republican incumbents trailing Democrats in 61 districts.
Democrats only need to retake 17 seats to regain control of the House and the polls were consistent with others that showed the public overwhelmingly blames the GOP for their role in the shutdown—47% prefer a Democratically-controlled Congress to the 39% who support a Republican-controlled Congress.
The poll does come with a few caveats: the latest 25 polls were taken last week, more than a year before elections and amidst a tense political environment and a 16-day shutdown that left hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed. Republican candidates were also compared to a “generic Democrat,” PPP said, not the real oppponents.