Via Greg Sargent
The conventional wisdom for some time has been that Dems are bleeding support among independents, and this claim — based, in fairness, on a number of polls — has become central to GOP predictions of doom for Dems in 2010.
But new polling from Gallup suggests the trend is reversing, and finds that indys are swinging back towards Dems, though the Republicans still hold a narrow lead among them.
Gallup finds that Dems have edged into a small lead in the overall generic ballot matchup, 48%-45%, after having been behind in November, adding:
The major cause of the movement between November and the current poll is the changing preferences of independents. In the latest poll, conducted Dec. 11-13, independent registered voters tilt only slightly toward the Republican candidate, by 44% to 40%. In the November poll, independents’ preference for the Republican candidate was 52% to 30%.
That’s a sizable swing among indys: The GOP has dropped eight points among them, and Dems have gained by 10 points.
Still, Gallup notes, ominously for Dems, that if the current patterns hold, the traditional GOP turnout advantage could give them a real edge come Election Day 2010. That said, the narrative of a mass desertion of Dems by indys because of the Dem big-government agenda may have been premature or fleeting.