Election 2006

2006 in Context of Previous Mid-term Elections

These data and analysis focus on four key measures that Gallup has tracked over the years in midterm elections. This history provides a framework for forecasting the results of this year’s election. The four measures are: congressional generic ballot, presidential job approval, congressional job approval, and satisfaction with the way things are going in the country.

Democratic Lead in the Congressional Generic Ballot
(Percent voting for Democratic candidate minus percent for Republican candidate)
Among Registered Voters


Year

Election
outcome

Net change in Dem. seats

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep. (1)

Sep. (2)

Sep. (3)

Oct. (1)

Oct. (2)

Oct. (3)

Final Poll

1974

59-41 D

+43

26

32

28

25

28

26

1978

55-46 D

-11

26

24

22

24

19

24

24

24

25

17

1982

56-44 D

+26

11

20

16

17

14

18

17

18

1986

--

+5

10

0

13

1

8

1990

54-46 D

+9

4

5

2

7

5

10

7

1994

54-47 R

-53

-1

6

-5

0

-4

-3

0

-3

3

0

1998

50-50 R

+5

11

1

5

4

4

13

4

9

1

3

9

7

2002

52-48 R

-3

-3

-4

0

7

2

2

6

8

3

5

5

9

5

2006

--

--

6

11

16

13

12

10

6

12

9

23

15

11

Democratic Lead in the Congressional Generic Ballot
(Percent voting for Democratic candidate minus percent for Republican candidate)
Among Likely Voters


Year

Election
outcome

Net change in Dem. seats

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep. (1)

Sep. (2)

Sep. (3)

Oct. (1)

Oct. (2)

Oct. (3)

Final Poll

1974

59-41 D

+43

18

1978

55-46 D

-11

10

1982

56-44 D

+26

10

1986

--

+5

1990

54-46 D

+9

8

1994

54-47 R

-53

-12

-10

-7

1998

50-50 R

+5

-6

0

-4

1

1

6

1

-2

4

0

2002

52-48 R

-3

4

1

3

-6

2006

--

--

0

23

13

7

Presidential Job Approval
(Percent saying approve)
Among National Adults


Year

Election
outcome

Net change in Dem. seats

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep. (1)

Sep. (2)

Sep. (3)

Oct. (1)

Oct. (2)

Oct. (3)

Final Poll

1974

59-41 D

+43

27

27

26

26

26

27

24

48

66

50

53

1978

55-46 D

-11

54

49

49

41

42

43

40

41

42

45

48

49

1982

56-44 D

+26

48

47

46

44

45

45

42

42

42

42

1986

--

+5

64

63

62

68

63

63

61

62

63

1990

54-46 D

+9

80

73

71

68

65

68

62

75

76

73

67

66

55

54

1994

54-47 R

-53

55

53

51

50

51

46

43

41

39

42

44

42

41

48

1998

50-50 R

+5

62

66

65

65

64

60

63

63

62

63

64

63

65

65

2002

52-48 R

-3

84

82

79

76

76

73

72

67

66

70

67

67

62

67

63

2006

--

--

43

40

37

35

32

37

40

40

39

44

37

37

37

38

NOTE: August 1974 presidential approval results represent the average of Richard Nixon's final approval rating (24%) and Gerald Ford's first approval rating (71%).

Congressional Job Approval
(Percent saying approve)
Among National Adults


Year

Election
outcome

Net change in Dem. seats

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep. (1)

Sep. (2)

Sep. (3)

Oct. (1)

Oct. (2)

Oct. (3)

Final Poll

1974

59-41 D

+43

30

47

35

1978

55-46 D

-11

29

1982

56-44 D

+26

29

1986

--

+5

42

1990

54-46 D

+9

28

23

24

1994

54-47 R

-53

28

29

27

21

23

1998

50-50 R

+5

42

57

49

44

55

46

44

2002

52-48 R

-3

62

62

63

57

57

52

54

46

52

50

2006

--

--

27

25

27

23

21

27

29

27

29

24

23

26

26

General Mood of the Nation
(Percent saying satisfied with the way things are going)
Among National Adults


Year

Election
outcome

Net change in Dem. seats

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep. (1)

Sep. (2)

Sep. (3)

Oct. (1)

Oct. (2)

Oct. (3)

Final Poll

1974

59-41 D

+43

1978

55-46 D

-11

1982

56-44 D

+26

25

24

1986

--

+5

66

69

58

1990

54-46 D

+9

55

45

43

51

37

29

31

1994

54-47 R

-53

35

36

35

32

33

33

31

1998

50-50 R

+5

63

62

58

59

62

2002

52-48 R

-3

65

61

61

61

56

52

49

47

47

47

48

2006

--

--

35

35

29

27

25

30

32

28

32

30

35

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/24295/2006-Context-Previous-Midterm-Elections.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030