A majority of likely voters are convinced Republicans will take the Senate in November’s midterm elections and, with it, control of Congress, according to a new Associated Press/GfK poll.
Fifty-five percent said the GOP will take the upper chamber; 45 who say Democrats will keep control.
Forty-seven percent of likely voters say they’d rather see Republicans control both chambers, compared to 39 percent who want a Democratic Congress. Likely voters also said they trust the GOP on issues like foreign affairs, the economy, immigration and national security.
But that doesn’t mean voters are enthusiastic about either party. The majority of likely voters disapprove of both parties, and 88 percent have a negative view of Congress.
Despite the Democratic Party’s attempt to frame the GOP as unfriendly toward women, the party's lead among women seems to have eroded.
In last month’s poll, 47 percent of likely female voters wanted a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared to 40 percent for the GOP. Now, 44 percent favor a Republican Congress, and 42 percent want a Democratic Congress, an edge within the poll’s 2.8-percent-point margin of error.
Respondents also gave poor marks to President Obama, whose favorability ratings have dropped sharply since the beginning of his second term. Sixty-percent of likely voters disapproved of the president, with 41 percent approving. Likely voters disapproved of his handling of the economy, immigration and healthcare.
The only issue in the poll, where Obama’s approval remained above water was on same-sex marriage, where likely voters approved of his policies 50 percent to 49 percent.
These results show little change from last month’s poll, but Obama’s approval on terrorism issues dropped by 4 percentage points, and his approval on managing the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria dropped 5 percentage points.
In the poll’s first month gauging the president’s handling of the Ebola outbreak, 56 percent of likely voters disapproved.
Democratic senators in tough races have tried to separate themselves from Obama and his weak polling numbers. But the president might have boosted Republican attacks, when he called the midterms a referendum on his policies and said embattled Democrats supported his agenda.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 16-20.