Independent voters are trending toward Republican candidates in toss-up districts, with a majority of them saying they want divided government rather than one-party control.
The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll found that 51 percent of self-described independents prefer the president and Congress to come from different parties.
In the survey, of likely voters in 12 toss-up House districts held by first-term Democrats who arrived in Washington with President Obama, 43 percent of independents said they would vote for the Republican in their district, compared to 34 percent who said they would vote for the Democrat.
“In these districts they’re trending Republican,” said pollster Mark Penn of Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the poll. “You have to be a little bit careful in that this is a particularly volatile set of districts, but there’s no question that the independents are largely coming to the side of the Republican Party and are extremely dissatisfied with Congress.”
Throughout this cycle, congressional Republicans have stressed the need for “a check and balance” on the Obama administration. The poll indicates that message is working.