GWU poll: US on “wrong track,” economy to drive midterms

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An overwhelming majority of American voters feel the country is on the wrong track, and economic matters will take the lead as an issue in November’s General Election, according to the latest George Washington University Battleground Poll.

Pollsters found more than 70 percent of likely voters nationwide say the country is on the wrong track while only 21 percent say that the nation is moving in the right direction.

On a generic congressional ballot, Republicans hold a slight edge, with 46 to 42 percent. On a generic ballot in states with competitive U.S. Senate races, the GOP takes a 16-point advantage, 52 to 36 percent.

“Though the American public is as divided as it has been all year, as we head into the 2014 general elections the advantage among likely voters is flowing toward Republicans,” said poll director Christopher Arterton, professor of political management in the GWU Graduate School of Political Management.

“Despite the public’s antipathy toward Congress, particularly toward the Republican leadership in the House, President Obama has become a lightning rod for discontent on a number of fronts,” Arterton added.

“All of these measures exceed where the GOP was at this point in the 2010 cycle,” said Republican pollster Ed Goeas, CEO of the Tarrance Group.

Democrats do have advantages in two areas of public concern. The poll found respondents feel Democrats stand up better for the middle class (52 percent) and they represent middle-class values (51 percent).

GWU conducted the survey of 1,000 likely voters nationwide from Aug. 24 to 28, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.