18 Points

The latest numbers from Gallup are scary ones - for Democrats.

Though the GOP has an edge of only 3 percentage points among registered voters on a generic congressional ballot — it lists political parties but not candidates' names — the Republican advantage widens to yawning double digits among those judged most likely to actually cast a ballot.

The likely voter numbers are earth shattering.

Under Gallup's traditional voter model, 56% of likely voters say they're inclined to vote for a Republican; 38% for a Democrat. If slightly higher turnout is assumed, the GOP leads 53%-40%.

An 18 point margin? Incredible!

In the 1994 midterms, the GOP held a 12-point advantage when Gallup moved to its likely-voter model in mid-October. The gap narrowed to 7 points by Election Day — enough for Republicans to win back majorities in the House and Senate.

"It wouldn't be unlikely that Democrats … would narrow the gap" by Election Day this year, says Frank Newport, Gallup's editor in chief. But the findings "certainly suggest at this point Republicans have a significant turnout advantage."

There's more bad news for Dems. In West Virginia, the popular Demcratic governor appears to be failing in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

A new Fox News battleground state poll on the race for the seat held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd for 51 years shows Republican businessman John Raese with a 5-point lead over Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin among likely voters -- 48 percent to 43 percent.

The Missouri race is also leaning toward the GOP, with the Republican up 8 points.

A new Fox News battleground state poll in Missouri shows Carnahan trailing Republican candidate Roy Blunt by 8 points among likely voters. Blunt, a seven-term congressman from the central part of the state, won the support of 50 percent compared to 42 percent for Carnahan, the second-term secretary of state.

And Sharron Angle has opened a small lead over Harry Reid in Nevada. All this while on a national basis, opinion of Democrats is becoming less negative.