Final pre-election polls unanimously show big GOP advantage

Republicans enjoy a wide margin of support from likely voters that could help propel them toward winning a majority in the House, new polls suggested Monday.

A series of final pre-election polls published Monday unanimously reflected an advantage for the GOP going into Tuesday's elections, propelling the party's optimism that it will pick up the net 39 seats it needs to retake control of the House.

Republicans enjoy an unprecedented margin of support in the final USA Today/Gallup poll. Fifty-five percent of likely voters said they would vote for a generic Republican candidate for Congress, compared to 40 percent who support Democrats, and with 5 percent undecided.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters generally prefer a Republican candidate, according to the last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, while 43 percent expressed support for Democrats and 8 percent were undecided.

And 49 percent of likely voters said they support Republicans going into Nov 2., while 45 percent said they'd prefer to back a Democrat, according to Monday's poll by ABC News and The Washington Post.

The polls in part forecast the kind of Republican victories on Tuesday that most political observers have talked about with increasing confidence. Democrats have been working to hold together their House and Senate majorities with furious efforts to bolster turnout in key races, and President Obama spent the weekend stumping for candidates across the country. 

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), said that voters would buck the polls on Tuesday, fueled in part by an advantage in early voting.

"The polls are bouncing around," he said Monday on CNN. "Thirty-six hours from now, we'll know. What I believe is that the voters are going to surprise all of these Washington pollsters."

The polls suggest, though, that voters are also frustrated with their own representatives in Congress. While voters express a preference nationally for an unnamed Republican over an unnamed Democrat, half say their own lawmaker doesn't deserve reelection. 

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) said he thought the momentum for the GOP would help his party make major gains in the Senate — where it needs a net pickup of 10 seats to retake the majority — but not enough to win a majority this cycle.

"We're going to come back in a significant way," Cornyn said on NBC's "Today" show. "I think we don't get the majority back but we come awfully close, and we finish the job in 2012."

Fifty-one percent of registered voters in the NBC/WSJ poll said it was time for someone new in their own district, while 37 percent said their own representative deserves reelection. Similarly, 50 percent of registered voters in the ABC/WP survey said they would look around to support a new candidate, while 32 percent said they would vote to send their own representative back to Washington.

Democrats who are hoping to stave off a massive GOP wave might also find it difficult to motivate their supporters to turn out on Tuesday, especially considering that over half of voters expect Republicans to control Congress when all is said and done Tuesday night.

Fifty-one percent of registered voters said in the final CNN/Opinion Research poll that they expect Republicans to control Congress next year, while 36 percent expect Democrats to stay in charge. Just 8 percent said they expect split control of Congress.

The Gallup poll, conducted Oct. 28-31, has a 4 percent margin of error for likely voters. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was conducted Oct. 28-30 and has a 3.1 percent margin of error. The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Oct. 25-28 and has a 3 percent margin of error. And the CNN/Opinion Research poll, conducted Oct. 27-30, has a 3 percent margin of error.

Updated 7:26 a.m.