08/10/2010 - The Republican Party's prospects for the midterm elections look much better than they did four years ago at this time, while the Democrats' look much worse. Voter preferences for the upcoming congressional elections remain closely divided (45% support the Democratic candidate or lean Democratic, while 44% favor the Republican or lean Republican). In polling conducted in August-September 2006, the Democrats held an 11-point advantage (50% to 39%).
Major shifts in sentiment among key voting blocs account for the improved GOP standing in 2010. The Republicans now enjoy advantages among typically loyal voting blocs that wavered in 2006, notably men and whites.
The GOP is also now running better than four years ago among three key swing groups in recent elections -- independents, white Catholics and seniors.
Read the full report Republicans Faring Better with Men, Whites, Independents and Seniors on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.