Poll shows GOP lead in generic ballot

The survey, released Wednesday, showed that registered voters prefer Republicans 43 percent to 38 percent who prefer Democrats.

Republicans have a strong lead among independent voters, as 44 percent of independents said they would vote for a Republican for their district in the midterm elections if the election was held today, compared to 29 percent who said they would vote for a Democrat.

The result is a reversal from late May, when registered voters favored the Democratic candidate 42 percent to 36 percent.

The Quinnipiac poll comes on the heels of a Gallup poll released earlier this week that showed Democrats leading Republicans 49 percent to 43 percent. In that poll, independents still prefered Republicans 43-39 percent, down from a 14-point lead last week. 

“The Republican tilt of the electorate little more than 100 days before the 2010 election is evident, but not overwhelming. Republicans hold a 43-38 percent lead on the ‘generic ballot,’ compared to a 42-34 percent Democratic lead in July 2009,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “What a difference a year makes.”

The nonpartisan firm’s survey also showed President Obama as having the lowest approval rating of his presidency. Forty-four percent said they approve of Obama’s handling of the office, while 48 percent disapprove. More than half of independents, 52 percent, said they disapprove of his job performance, while just 38 percent said they approve.

In May, more voters approved of Obama’s performance than disapproved, 48 percent to 43 percent.

“It was a year ago, during the summer of 2009 that America’s love affair with President Barack Obama began to wane,” Brown said. “In July of 2009, the President had a 57-33 percent approval rating. Today, his support among Democrats remains strong, but the disillusionment among independent voters, who dropped from 52-37 percent approval to 52-38 percent disapproval in the last 12 months, is what leads to his weakness overall when voters start thinking about 2012.”

The national poll of 2,181 registered voters was taken from July 13 to 19 and has a margin of error of 2.1 percent.