Poll: Dem shutdown gains erased

The Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot has completely evaporated since the government shutdown last month, according to a new poll. 

Democrats have touted their gains in polling since the shutdown, arguing the GOP's ratings plunge since that time will help the party retake the House in 2014.

But results from a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday shows that voters are evenly split on which party’s congressional candidate they would vote for. Thirty-nine percent of voters favor Republicans, while the same number would vote for a Democrat. Eighteen percent are undecided. 

That washes away the 9-point advantage Democrats carried heading into the government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Republican gains are bolstered by independents, with a 7-point shift since last month — 37 percent of independents would vote for a Republican on a generic ballot test today. Only 30 percent of independents said the same thing last month. 

While Democrats are seen as having an uphill climb to win a net of 17 seats to take back the House next year, polling during the shutdown showed them with a large advantage on a generic ballot.  

Despite the GOP's having erased that deficit, the party's favorability rating still bottoms out at 20 percent. And 70 percent of voters disapprove of Republicans in Congress — little change since last month. 

The Democratic Party’s approval rating stands at 30 percent, with 62 percent disapproval. 

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has the highest disapproval rating, 58 percent, of any congressional leader.

Boehner’s approval rating is trailed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (55 percent), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (52 percent) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (46 percent). 

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