As Congress Debated Health Care, Independents Moved Toward Favoring Congressional Republicans over Democrats by 22-Point Margin, Says Gallup Poll

By | November 12, 2009 | 12:19 PM EST

( - Since July, as Congress has been considering an overhaul of the nation’s health care system, registered independent voters have shifted dramatically in favor of supporting Republicans over Democrats for Congress, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.
In July, 43% of registered independent voters said they would vote for the Republican congressional candidate in their district and 42% said they would vote for the Democratic congressional candidates, according to Gallup’s “generic congressional ballot” poll. In November, independent voters favored the Republican congressional candidate over the Democrat 52% to 30%.
“Over the course of the year, independents' preference for the Republican candidate in their districts has grown, from a 1-point advantage in July to the current 22-point gap,” says Gallup’s analysis of the data.
Among all registered voters, the generic Republican candidate is favored over the generic Democrat 48% to 44%.
Gallup asked respondents the following: “If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your congressional district—the Democratic Party’s candidate (or) the Republican Party’s candidate. (If unsure: As of today, do you lean more toward the Democratic Party’s candidate (or) the Republican Party’s candidate?)”