(CNN) – When it comes to the political landscape three months before the midterm elections take place, is everything that’s old new again?
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey paints a picture that is markedly similar to that of August, 1994, when few people predicted that in only three short months the Republican Party would snatch 54 seats from the Democrats and wrestle control of the House from the beleaguered party.
Sixteen years later, Republican candidates for Congress have a three-point advantage in the “generic ballot” question – virtually the same position they held at the same time in 1994. President Obama has an all-time high disapproval rating almost on par with that of Bill Clinton’s 16 years ago. And Republican voters are feeling an intense amount of anger over the state of the nation – the same motivating force that the GOP relied on in 1994.
But Republicans may not want to pop the champagne just yet. Unlike 1994, the new survey shows the public dislikes GOP members of Congress about as much as they dislike Democrats, and a majority think most Democrats in Congress are ethical, despite the controversies surrounding Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters.
Add to that the fact Democrats insist they won’t get caught flat-footed like they did in 1994 and things perhaps begin to look a little less ominous for the party than it did back then.
“While it’s clear that the Democrats will lose a lot of seats in Congress this November, it may be too early for the GOP to start measuring for drapes in the Speaker’s office,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland says.
Still, Democrats have plenty to worry about. In a “generic ballot” question that asks voters whether they would vote for an unnamed Democrat or an unnamed Republican in their congressional district, 48 percent of registered voters say they would vote for the GOP candidate while 45 percent pick the Democrat. That’s nearly identical to the 46-44 margin the GOP had in August of 1994. (It is, however, much lower than the nine-point lead the Democrats had in August of 2006, when they took control of the chamber back from the Republicans.)