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Poll: Dems make gains but GOP still has edge

The findings of the latest Washington Post/ABC poll are similar to our NBC/WSJ poll from last week: Democrats are making up ground, but the GOP still has the edge heading into next month's midterms.

"Democrats have cut in half the GOP's early-September advantage on the question of which party's candidates voters say they will support on Nov. 2. They have also made small gains on the question of which party people trust to handle big issues, such as the economy and health care... President Obama's approval rating has rebounded to where it was in July."

But: "Despite these apparent signs of improvement, the new Post-ABC poll suggests that Democrats remain at a significant disadvantage... Among likely voters, Republicans hold a six-point edge, 49 percent to 43 percent, on the congressional ballot. At this time four years ago, Democrats led by 12 points. Then, Democrats also held a 19-point advantage when voters were asked which party they trusted to deal with the country's main problems."

The Post's Greg Sargent also digs up these numbers: "Forty-nine percent think the GOP would lead the country in a 'new direction,' versus only 43 percent who think the GOP would return to Bush policies. Apologies for repeating this, but the simple fact is that the GOP may have already achieved separation from the party of Bush that ran the economy into the ground. Voters may not be buying a core Dem message in the numbers Dems need."