By JAMES HOHMANN & JIM VANDEHEI
Republicans are on the verge of broad wins next week for one big reason: independent voters are ready to boot Democrats from office, according to a new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll.
Expressing deep dissatisfaction with President Obama’s policies and performance, independents have increasingly sided with conservatives in the belief that government grew too large, too fast under Obama—and that it can no longer be trusted. In the final pre-election Battleground Poll, Republicans hold a 14-point edge among independents and lead overall, 47 percent to 42 percent, in the generic ballot match up.
The swing among independents rivals the emergence of the spirited Tea Party movement as one of the most important changes in American politics over the past 20 months. Many other polls have confirmed this trend over that period, even though it has been vastly overshadowed by coverage of more provocative characters and themes on the right.
The poll found these independents are merging with Republican voters, who remain decidedly more enthusiastic about voting next Tuesday, to threaten both the House and Senate Democratic governing majorities. The Republican lead expands to 12 points in the generic ballot among those “extremely likely” to vote.
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