On perhaps the most important issue of the 2010 midterm elections, the economy, neither party has an advantage with the public. As many Americans say the Republican Party (38%) can do a better job in dealing with the economy as say the Democratic Party (37%) can do a better job. A quarter of the public (26%) say neither party can do a better job. Early in the last election year (February 2008), Democrats held a substantial 53%-to-34% lead over Republicans on handling the economy. By February of this year, however, Republicans had closed the gap; in that poll, 41% chose the Democrats and 38% chose the GOP as better able to deal with the economy. The Republicans do have a slight advantage on a specific economic issue: taxes. The GOP is favored on taxes by 40% of Americans, while 34% say the Democrats can do a better job. As with the overall economy, the Democrats had a significant advantage on this issue in February 2008. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.