Pew Survey Gives GOP An Edge On Several Measures Ahead of Election Day

By Jenny Schlesinger

Oct 21, 2010 4:48pm

ABC News' Michael Falcone reports:

A new Pew Research Center survey out on Wednesday shows more positive indicators for Republicans with just over a week to go before Election Day. The survey found that the GOP holds a 10 percentage point lead among likely voters — 50 percent to 40 percent. 

“The new survey does show some signs of the Democrats awakening,” according to Pew’s analysis. “However, Republican engagement continues at record levels, dwarfing even improved Democratic showings on these indicators.” 

The survey also asked questions about the voter mobilization efforts of both parties and found that Republicans were keeping up with, and in some cases doing better than Democrats on a variety of measures, including the share of voters who say they have received an e-mail, a phone call or a knock at the door from a party volunteer. 

For example, 67 percent of Republicans in the survey said they received  live or recorded calls, compared with 54 percent of Democrats. 

Republican voters were also slightly more likely to have contributed money to a candidate, gone to a campaign event and almost as likely to have volunteered for a campaign as Democrats were. 

Numbers coming in from the states already indicate that 2010 could be a big year for early voting, and the Pew results bear that out. In all, 27 percent of registered voters said they plan to cast their ballots early, up from 18 percent who said the same ahead of the 2006 midterm elections. Republicans and Democrats were roughly even on this question. 

But when it comes to general interest in the election, Republicans are out in front. Sixty-four percent of Republican voters said they have given a lot of thought to the election compared with 49 percent of Democrats. 

“In fact, Republicans are more interested and attentive to the campaign than at comparable points in the past five midterm election cycles,” the Pew researchers found. “And when asked to compare their own level of enthusiasm with previous congressional elections, 56% of Republicans say they are more enthused, compared with just 41% of Democrats.” 

Another interesting finding: voters are split over whether it’s important to know who is paying for political ads. The issue has become a major Democratic talking point in the closing weeks of the cycle as top party officials, including President Obama, raise questions about the anonymous donors who are fueling the efforts of outside groups, particularly on the GOP side. 

About half — 49 percent  – of voters said they would like to know who is funding campaign ads while 50 percent said it didn’t matter much. Democrats in general are also divided almost evenly on this point although a much larger share of liberal Democrats said it’s important to know who’s behind the ads. 

The poll was conducted Oct. 13-18 among 1,797 registered voters, including 1,354 likely voters. More findings from it are available here.

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