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>AP-GfK Poll: Most attuned voters tilt toward GOP

>Huh, no surprise here.

Congressional races often turn on local concerns and the candidates’ character, factors that may yet sway many races this year. But many analysts think the public’s widely sour mood — just 35 percent in the AP-GfK poll said the country is headed in the right direction — means this year’s campaigns could be widely influenced by national issues, especially the economy.

“The economy is poor, we’re muddling through in Afghanistan, we’re not making much progress in the war on terror,” said Paul Goren, a University of Minnesota political scientist who studies voting behavior. “Every once in a while national issues can intrude. It looks like there’s a good chance this will be one of those elections.”

The vast majority of this poll is no surprise. Educated Republicans were not the ones looking for television cameras on election day in 2008 talking about Obama paying their mortgages, car payments and filling up their cars with gas.

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