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Reuters poll shows Republicans leading generic ballot for first time

Reuters poll shows Republicans leading generic ballot for first time
© Greg Nash

Republicans hold a slim lead over Democrats in a generic ballot among registered voters, a new Reuters poll found, marking the first time the survey showed the GOP ahead in this election cycle. 

The poll showed 38.1 percent of registered voters said they would vote for a Republican candidate if midterm elections were held today, compared to just under 37 percent who said they’d vote for a Democrat. 

Another 15.4 percent of registered voters said they didn’t know which party’s candidate they’d choose.

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The new poll was conducted on May 17 and surveyed 1,338 registered voters.

For the week ending May 20, pollsters also found that Republicans held a nearly 6-point advantage over Democrats. That marked a 9-point swing from the previous week, when Democrats held a 3-point lead among registered voters.

The results are a stark contrast to previous polls, which showed Democrats with a 10-point edge as of late April.

The Reuters poll reflects a larger trend of Republicans closing the gap in the generic ballot. A CNN poll released earlier this month showed the Democrats with just a 3-point lead over the GOP, which was within the poll's margin of error.

Republicans have publicly said they expect to lose some seats in this November's midterm elections, which is common for the party in power.

Democrats need to win 23 GOP-held seats to take back control of the House.

The party could win back control of the Senate if it flips three seats, but several vulnerable Democrats are up for reelection.

--Updated at 2:24 p.m.