A new poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal is good news for Democrats ahead of the midterms in one big way: It shows that 52% of registered voters want Democrats to take control of Congress, versus 40% who want Republicans to keep it. The Democrats' 12-point margin is up 4 points from August. Other key points:
- Good for GOP: Republicans are catching up in terms of voter enthusiasm. In the survey conducted Sept. 16-19, 61% of Republicans had high interest in the election (9 or 10 on a 10-point scale), close to the Democratic figure of 65%. Democrats had a 16-point advantage as recently as July.
- More on enthusiasm: Seniors have the highest level of interest in the election, with 73% at a 9 or 10 level; following are Democrats (65%), whites (61%), Republicans (61%), and African-Americans (53%). Groups on the lower end of the scale include independents (37%) and voters age 18-34 (35%).
- Men vs. women: Both men and women favor Democratic control, but women apparently feel much more strongly about that. They support the idea by a margin 58% to 33%, compared to 47% to 43% among men.
- Trump: The president “has defied political gravity,” says Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who worked on the survey. “He’s created a very loyal base.” Proof: Trump's approval rating remained at 44%, and 69% were satisfied with the economy; a plurality gave Trump credit for the latter.
- Key demographics: The poll sees trouble spots for Republicans in some important areas: The GOP trails Democrats among moderates and independents by more than 30 points; they trail by almost 20 points among women ages 50 and older; and they trail in competitive congressional districts by 12 points.
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