House GOP Better Liked Than Democrats, Says New Poll

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:28 PM EDT

( - Republicans, who have controlled the U.S. House since 1995 and currently cling to an eleven vote majority, have reason to be optimistic about maintaining control. A new opinion poll by Wilson Research Strategies of Washington finds that Americans still like House Republicans better than Democrats.

The poll found that overall, Republican performance in the House is viewed as excellent or good by 53 percent of the electorate while 41 percent viewed it as not so good or poor.

The performance by House Democrats was rated as excellent or good by 49 percent while 44 percent of those polled said Democrats performed not so well or poorly.

WRS based its findings after questioning 1,000 registered voters nationwide during May 5-8 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3-point-2 percent.

Voters were asked, "When you think about the job Republicans/Democrats in Congress are doing right now, do you think they are doing an excellent job, good job, not so good job, or a poor job representing you and your interests?"

Chris Wilson, president of Wilson Research Strategies, said at this point, the poll numbers may not serve as much of an election predictor.

"For Republicans, the key will be to keep these numbers strong by talking about things Americans care about most, issues like tax relief, addressing terrorism, and education. For the Democrats, the challenge will be to put a dent in those numbers without appearing too negative," said Wilson.

Republicans currently outnumber Democrats in the House 222 to 211. There are two Independents. The Wilson poll also asked voters: "Which issue is most important to you in deciding how you will vote in November for your district's Member of Congress?"

Cutting taxes and wasteful government spending was the issue that most of those polled thought was the most important.

It was followed by strengthening national defense and fighting terrorism, improving public school education, reducing unemployment and creating jobs, providing affordable health care, protecting the environment and social security, fighting crime and drugs, reforming welfare and addressing growth and transportation problems.

"While Senators Ted Kennedy and Tom Daschle want to roll back President Bush's modest tax cut, clearly the American people believe keeping more of their hard earned dollars is important to them and many Americans will base their votes on a candidate's position on taxes and government spending," Wilson said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is confident the GOP will keep the House in November.

"National Democrats are confirming what nonpartisan pundits have been saying for months now, the Democrats don't have a shot at taking over the House of Representatives," said Carl Forti, a spokesman for the NRCC.

But a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said opinion polls conducted by the committee itself, show the Democrats will re-take the House in November.

"Several recent polls have shown that Democrats have an advantage over Republicans in November. Democrats are ahead because voters support Democratic leadership on issues like Social Security, prescription drugs, and education, and they know they can count on us to deliver," said DCCC spokesperson Kim Rubey.

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