Republican and Democratic pollsters Glen Bolger and Stan Greenberg teamed up to conduct an in-depth NPR survey that was released on Tuesday.
Bolger offered this take on the results:
The survey – the first of its kind this election cycle – underscores that the challenges facing Democrats are even greater than shown in national surveys. The Republican candidates lead in the 60 Democratic seats – and the ten Republican seats aggregate to a significant GOP advantage.
Just as importantly, the poll lays out some significant guidance on Republican messaging for the campaign on the big issues of the economy, the deficit, Wall Street reform, health care, and the Obama Presidency. Be sure to read the wording of questions 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26 – because those are going to be message battles that define this election.
In the survey, respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements that described each party's positions on those central issues. Campaigns may be able to shape their talking points from the results.
Greenberg's firm called the results a "wake-up call for Democrats whose loses in the House could well exceed 30 seats."
The Democratic memo states:
The effort by individual campaigns will have to push against walls that seem very hard to move at this point. We tested Democratic and Republican arguments on the economy, health care, financial reform and the big picture for the 2010 election. The results consistently favored the Republicans and closely resembled the vote breakdown. Democrats are hurt by a combined lack of enthusiasm and an anti-incumbent tone.
--Updated at 2:39 p.m.