Poll: Democrats continue to hold lead on generic ballot ahead of midterms

Poll: Democrats continue to hold lead on generic ballot ahead of midterms

Democrats lead Republicans 45-37 percent on the generic congressional ballot ahead of the midterm elections in November, according to the latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

The numbers were in line with July's survey, when Democrats were ahead of Republicans by 43-36 percent in terms of which party they would prefer in November. 

The findings also showed Democrats had a 47-31 percent advantage among female voters in the generic ballot question.

"Democrats continue to have an edge in the midterms driven by a widening gender gap as the Democrats have gained considerably with women voters," said Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.

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The survey also showed the number of undecided voters as November approaches had ticked down to 13 percent in August from 18 percent in February. 

The 2018 midterms are shaping up to be a pivotal election as Democrats aim to flip the 23 seats they need to retake the House, though they face tougher odds in taking over the Senate. 

The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll showed 59 percent of respondents were "absolutely certain" they would vote in the midterm elections, while 18 percent were "very certain." Another 14 percent said it was possible that they would cast their ballot in November.

Election forecaster FiveThirtyEight currently pegs Democrats’ chances of winning the House at about 72 percent, and many Democratic candidates across the country have outraised their Republican opponents, bolstering the party’s hopes going into the general election.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,330 registered voters was conducted Aug. 22-23. The partisan breakdown is 37 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent and 2 percent other.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll. The Hill will be working with Harvard/Harris Poll throughout 2018.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.