Chilling for the Democrats, too, is the position of often swing-voting independents. They prefer the Republican over the Democrat in their congressional district by 51-35 percent (again, among those who are registered to vote). Sixty-seven percent of independents say they're inclined to look around for someone else rather than voting for the incumbent; it's nearly as high among Republicans, 60 percent, vs. just 41 percent among Democrats.
Similarly, 56 percent of independents call themselves anti-incumbent, about the same as its level among Republicans (55 percent), vs. just 34 percent of Democrats. And it cuts to vote: Anti-incumbents who are registered to vote favor the Republican over the Democrat in their congressional district by 58-33 percent. Pro-incumbents favor the Democrats by a similar margin. But there are fewer of them.
METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Feb. 4-8, 2010, among a random national sample of 1,004 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results for the full sample have a 3.5-point error margin. Click here for a detailed description of sampling error. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, PA.