Passage of health care reform legislation in the House last month appeared to cause a spike in voter enthusiasm in both parties about the upcoming congressional elections, according to a Gallup poll
conducted March 22-28. In the wake of the March 21 vote, Republicans also overtook Democrats for the first time during the month when it came to whom voters preferred in the midterm contests.
Republicans maintained the advantage they have shown in this and other polls in terms of their enthusiasm level about this year's House contests. Fifty percent of Republicans described themselves as "very enthusiastic" about voting during the week after the health care overhaul passed, up from 43 percent the previous week. Thirty-five percent of Democrats said they were very enthusiastic, up from 25 percent the week before.
Forty-seven percent of registered voters said they preferred the Republican candidate in their congressional district while 44 percent supported the Democrat. The Democrats had leads ranging from two to three points during the first three weeks of March.
Gallup said the fact that results changed in the week after House passage of the health care reform overhaul raised "the possibility that the health care bill had a slightly negative impact on the Democrats' political fortunes in the short run."
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