AP poll points to GOP edge ahead of midterms

A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows Republicans gaining an edge as the 2014 elections approach.

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According to the poll, which was conducted last month, 36 percent of respondents would rather see Democrats controlling Congress, while 37 percent said they would refer Republicans be in charge.

This is a change from a poll in January, when 39 percent of respondents said they wanted Democrats to control Congress, and 32 percent said they favored Republicans.

Voters who are most strongly interested in politics are more likely to favor Republicans, according to the poll, with 51 percent favoring Republicans and 37 percent favoring Democrats.

Overall, the Republican Party is viewed more favorably than it has been in the past, with 38 percent of respondents saying they “hold a favorable impression” of the GOP, the poll found.

On that metric, Democrats still have the edge, with 43 percent of respondents saying they have a favorable view of the party.

Congressional approval is still low, with 16 percent saying they approve and 82 percent saying they disapprove of Congress, the poll found. Still, 39 percent would like to see their members of Congress get reelected.

According to the poll, Democrats have the upper hand on social issues including same-sex marriage and abortion — 31 and 30 percent of respondents, respectively, prefer the Democrats’ position on those two issues, while 17 and 22 percent prefer the Republicans.

At the same time, 34 percent of respondents prefer the Republican stance on “protecting the country” over the Democrat stance, which 16 percent prefer.

When asked about the 2016 presidential election, most polled had opinions about seven of the 19 potential president candidates included in the questions.

Regarding Democratic contenders, 46 percent said they view Hillary Clinton favorably, and 39 percent said they viewed her unfavorably.

None of the Republicans in the survey were viewed more favorably than they were viewed unfavorably, according to the AP.