Voters are much more likely to support a newcomer over an incumbent in the November elections, according to a Fox News poll released Friday. If the voter only knew that one candidate was the incumbent and the other was a new challenger, twice as many say they would vote for the newcomer.
The new candidate is preferred by a 41 percent to 20 percent margin, with the remaining 32 percent saying "it depends."
Views vary drastically among partisans. Democratic voters split almost evenly between voting for the newcomer (30 percent) or the incumbent (28 percent). However, by a wide, 42-point margin Republican voters would pick the new candidate, and by a 35-point margin independent voters would do the same.
The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from May 18 to May 19. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
If the election were held today, 41 percent of voters say they would back the Democratic candidate in their congressional district and 41 percent for the Republican candidate. A month ago, the Republican candidate had a slim 4 point edge (42-38 percent).
Elections ultimately turn on turnout, and the new poll finds that among voters who say they are "extremely" or "very" interested in the midterm elections, 48 percent would back the Republican candidate and 35 percent the Democrat.
That goes hand in hand with the finding that 70 percent of Republicans are extremely or very interested in the elections, compared to 54 percent of Democrats. Of those who identify with the Tea Party movement, 83 percent say they are extremely or very interested.
In the vote match-up, almost all Democratic (84 percent) and Republican (85 percent) voters would support their party's candidate. By a 33-23 percent margin independents favor the Republican, though 15 percent says they will support a third-party candidate. Twenty-nine percent of independents are undecided.
Among self-identified Tea Party members, 72 percent say they would vote for the Republican and 11 percent the Democrat.
Congressional Job Approval
Voters continue to be unhappy with Congress. Sixty-five percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That's nearly three times as many as the 22 percent who approve.
More than 8 in 10 Republicans (83 percent) and Tea Party members (86 percent), and over two-thirds of independents (68 percent), disapprove of the Democratically-controlled Congress. Even Democrats are more likely to say they disapprove (48 percent) than approve (34 percent).