Pollster: Generic ballots can 'distort' results

Pollster Lee Miringoff on Wednesday cautioned against reading too much into generic ballot survey results ahead of November's midterm elections, saying their results can be distorted. 

"There's a difference in enthusiasm. Democrats [are] much more eager to come to the poll than Republicans. [It's] sort of a flip of 2010, the Tea Party year, when the Republicans were much more active and much more enthusiastic," Miringoff, who is the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 
 
"These generic ballot questions are tapping into that, although, ultimately in November, it's district by district, and there's no national election. So the generic may slightly distort what might occur in November," he continued. 
 
A new American Barometer poll, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found Democrats leading Republicans by 11 points on the generic ballot. 
 
"The advantage seems to be Democrats, but not necessarily a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. Particularly the Senate races, which are state by state," Miringoff said. 
 
The electoral map in the Senate is friendlier for Republicans because Democrats are tasked with defending more than twice as many seats as Republicans, including in 10 states won by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE in 2016. 
 
However, the House map appears more favorable toward Democrats. 
 
Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to win back the majority in the lower chamber in November.
 
The Cook Political Report has rated three GOP-held districts as likely being won by Democrats, and it has another seven leaning toward Democrats. 
 
Thirty-five Republican-held seats are considered toss-ups, while only 3 Democratic seats are listed as toss-ups, according to Cook. 
 

— Julia Manchester