A new survey conducted for two major Democratic groups shows their party trailing Republicans by 2 points across the 12 major Senate battleground states.

But the pollster who conducted the survey, Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, expressed optimism at his findings nonetheless. 


“I’m saying for the first time that Democrats are more likely to hold the Senate than not," he said on a press call announcing the results.

GQRR surveyed 1,000 likely voters spread across Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia on issues for Women's Voices Women Vote and Democracy Corps.

Republicans lead overall, 47 percent to Democrats' 45 percent support, across those 12 states.

Drilling down into four states where GQRR conducted extra polling offers further troubling news for Democrats. In North Carolina, the survey shows Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganTillis trails Democratic challenger by 7 points in North Carolina poll North Carolina businessman will challenge Tillis in GOP primary Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 MORE (D) leads GOP challenger Thom Tillis by 4 points, 45 percent to 41 percent. In Colorado, Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocrats hope some presidential candidates drop out — and run for Senate  Denver Post editorial board says Gardner endorsement was 'mistake' Gardner gets latest Democratic challenge from former state senator MORE (D) is tied with GOP Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout MORE at 45 percent, and in Iowa, Democratic Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE trails GOP state Sen. Joni Ernst, 44 percent to 45 percent. In Georgia, Democrat Michelle Nunn trails Republican David Perdue by 5 points, 41-46 percent.

But Greenberg pointed to the fact that Democrats are running up the score with unmarried women — leading that group by huge double-digit margins in each of those four states, and by 22 points across all the battleground states — as reason for the party to be optimistic about its chances this fall. 

He also argued that the survey shows the Affordable Care Act is becoming a rallying force for Democratic base voters, a development that, if borne out, could neutralize the benefit of the law for Republicans, who've seen the issue invigorate their base. Unmarried women list it as their second most important reason for voting.