Voters prefer Republicans to Democrats on seven of nine key election issues - including an 11 point margin on the economy - according to a new poll from Gallup and USA Today.
The only two winning issues for Dems were the environment -- with a 23-point margin -- and health care, which had only a 1-point margin of 43 to 44 percent, a far cry from the double digit leads more common historically for the blue team on health.
The GOP advantage spanned from a 3-point to a 24-point margin and included the issues of terrorism (55-31 percent, Republicans over Democrats), immigration (50-35 percent), federal spending (50-35 percent), the economy (49-38 percent), the situation in Afghanistan (45-38 percent), jobs (46-41 percent) and corruption in government (38-35 percent).
The poll, taken Aug. 27-30, of a random sample of 1,021 adults had a 4-point margin of error.
In his column Wednesday, political prognosticator Charlie Cook identifies 32 incumbent House Democrats as being in the hole to their opponents in polls - 21 more than at this point for Republicans in 2006. He's clear that this trend would produce a substantial Republican majority in the House - far more than the 39 seats needed. Cook also says that Republican takeover in the Senate (an eight-seat swing) is not just "mathematically possible" but also "plausible."
As the administration looks for a way to get a handle on the economy and summer recess is winding down, Democrats will be coming back to Washington facing what is probably the worst political climate since the end of World War II.