CINCINNATI (TDB) -- If Republicans are hoping for gains in Congress next year, poll results that show Americans more likely to vote for Democrats in House races can't be very heartening. And the numbers seem to be signalling that Ohio's John Boehner, the House Minority Leader from Butler County, might be stuck in his job playing second fiddle to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen's company surveyed 800 likely voters across the nation by telephone last week, and they said by a 70-30 margin that the Democrats will hold the House next year. With 16 months to Election Day, the numbers indicate that Boehner's efforts so far haven't done much to turn the public against Pelosi's majority; Boehner's GOP just hasn't found a way to press the fickle button. And the polling helps Dems another way: They can raise money. In fact, if the numbers continue to hold it is possible the Dems could pick up a couple of House seats in Ohio -- Republican Jean Schmidt looks extremely vulnerable in Oh-02, and Deborah Pryce may be in the same boat. Both barely won in 2006. The Dems could have unprecedented money to pour into Ohio next year, a stash generated because they now hold the House and are starting to look ensconced.
"If the Congressional election were held today, 47% or American voters say they would vote for the Democrat in their district, while 37% would opt for the Republican."
"Seventy percent of American voters now believe it is likely Democrats will retain control of Congress following the 2008 elections. That figure has changed little in recent months, and includes 40% who say it's Very Likely Pelosi's party will keep running Congress."
The polling showed few Americans were interested in third parties, which is bad news for the Greens and Libertarians who would like to get a toehold in Washington. Only 6% favor third-party candidates.