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With all the cutting and pasting going around here....why

Seventy-one percent (71%) believe the President’s policies have driven up the federal deficit. Fifty-four percent (54%) say that middle class tax cuts are more important than new spending on health care. Thirty-three percent (33%) now believe the country is heading in the right direction. Republicans retain a modest lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Generic Congressional Ballot Generic Ballot: Republicans 43%, Democrats 38% Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Support for Republican congressional candidates has risen to its highest level in recent years, giving the GOP a five-point lead over Democrats in the latest Congressional Ballot and stretching the out-of-power party's lead to six weeks in a row.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 43% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 38% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent.

Democratic support is down two points from last week and is just one point above its lowest level measured over the past year. Support for Republican candidates is up one point from last week.

Over the past 12 months, Democratic support on the congressional ballot has ranged from a low of 37% to a high of 50%. In that same time period, Republicans have been preferred by anywhere from 34% to 43% of voters nationwide.

Democrats held a six- or seven-point lead on the ballot for the first few weeks of 2009. That began to slip in early February, and from mid-April through June the two political parties were roughly even. Republicans have held a lead on the ballot since the last week in June, the first time they'd been on top in well over a year.

Women who have consistently favored Democrats now prefer the GOP by a 40% to 39% margin. Men continue to favor Republicans over Democrats 47% to 36%.

Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Republicans two-to-one - 43% to 22%.

The latest look at party affiliations shows the number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats fell by two percentage points in July with Republicans and the number of unaffiliateds each gaining a point.

Voters are closely divided over President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, but 91% expect the Senate to confirm her for the post.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains America’s best-known – and least-liked - congressional leader.

Polling released earlier today shows that most Americans (54%) oppose any further congressional funding for the federal “cash for clunkers” program which offers the owners of older cars cash incentives to trade them in for newer, more fuel-efficient ones.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of voters now rate the U.S. health care system as good or excellent, while 19% rate it as poor. These figures reflect a significant increase in support for the health care system over the past few months, even as Congress works on plans to reform that system. Polling last week showed that 47% of voters favor the health care reform plan working its way through Congress while 49% are opposed.

Just 16% of voters believe that tax increases help the economy while 54% say tax increases hurt the economy, a number that has been fairly consistent for more than a decade.