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NRCC Releases 39 Day Video and the RNC gives midterm insight

September 24, 2010

See Pete Sessions in the “NRCC 39 Day Campaign” video.

Gentry Collins, RNC Political Director, on the political environment for Republicans:

This is a truly significant week in American politics.  Monday saw the opening of Early Voting in Georgia.  South Dakota voters began voting this week.  With 40 days remaining until the election is over, today marks the beginning of Early Voting in Iowa.  More and more voters will have the opportunity to begin voting in the days ahead as early and absentee voting windows open in many states.  Nebraska and Ohio begin Early Voting next week.  California, Indiana, and New Mexico begin the week after that.  Every state has now started processing absentee ballot requests, and by October 1st, more than 30 states will have mailed ballots.


As voters begin going to the polls, most political observers believe Republicans have a very positive political environment to operate in this year.  Today we’ll look at just how positive, and just how many seats that environment will make competitive.


Presidential approval numbers have been the best predictor of a party’s mid-term performance over the last 50 years.  During mid-terms since 1962, the party of the president gained an average of just 1 seat when presidential job approval was at 60% or above.  With presidential approval in the 50-59% range, the party of the president lost an average of 12 seats.  And when presidential approval was at 49% or below, the president’s party lost a staggering average of 41 seats.


So, where is this president’s job approval?  It is now consistently and clearly below the historical “danger line” below which partisan realignment in the House is historically likely.  According to Gallup, President Obama has an approval number of just 44% — and disapproval of 47%.  Obama hasn’t had Gallup approval over 50% since very early June, and has been as low as 41% in recent weeks.  That’s approaching 10 percentage points below the danger line for Obama’s majority in the House.  And Gallup is not generally considered the most favorable measurement for Republicans. 


While 40 days can be an eternity in politics, and an “October Surprise” is always a possibility, Obama’s approval numbers seem to have hardened against him.   Not only is he now the modern president with the most rapid decay in job approval, but his policies have led to near double-digit unemployment and even higher underemployment numbers, inverted economic confidence, seriously inverted right-direction/wrong-track numbers, and ballooning federal debt and intrusion into the lives of American citizens. 


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