Generic Ballot: Republicans 40% Democrats 39%

For the second straight week, Republicans edge out Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot. However, support for the Republican candidate is down a point from last week and the results appear to reflect a lack of enthusiasm for either party rather than gains for the GOP.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 40% would vote for their district’s Republican candidate while 39% would choose the Democrat.

From Rasmussen

Overall, the GOP lost one point this week, while the Democrats gained a point. This is now the third time in more than five years of Rasmussen polling the GOP has held a lead in the ballot.

Last week, Democrats fell to their lowest level of support in the past year while Republicans reached their high water mark.

Over the past year, Democratic support has ranged from a low of 38% to a high of 50%. In that same time period, Republicans have been preferred by 34% to 41% of voters nationwide.

During calendar 2009, Democratic support has ranged from 38% to 42% and the Republican range has been from 35% to 41%.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates also available on Twitter.

Democrats began the year holding a six- or seven-point lead over the GOP for the first several weeks of 2009. That began to slip in early February and the Republicans actually took a two-point lead for a single week in the middle of March. Since then, the results have ranged from dead even to a four point lead for the Democrats until the GOP regained lead in the last two polls.

Men now favor the GOP by a 47% to 33% margin. Women prefer the Democrats by a 45% to 34% margin.

This month’s look at partisan trends shows that the number of Republicans is down, the number of Democrats has stabilized, and unaffiliated voters have grown in size.

Separate Rasmussen polling shows that 69% of GOP voters think Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the party’s base.

The plurality of voters (42%) thinks that Senator Arlen Specter’s switch from Republican to Democrat will have no real impact on laws passed in the legislature.

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