Dems lead by 9 points in House generic ballot: poll

 Dems lead by 9 points in House generic ballot: poll

Democrats hold a 9-point lead over Republicans in the House generic ballot five weeks before the midterm elections, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.

Forty-five percent of registered voters said they’d vote for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, compared to 36 percent who said they’d support the GOP candidate. Fifteen percent remain undecided.

Democrats’ 9-point advantage trends with other generic ballot surveys that show the party in a good position to flip the 23 seats they'll need to retake the House in November.

The RealClearPolitics polling average has Democrats with a more than 7-point lead over Republicans on congressional generic ballots.


Democrats also hold a double-digit edge when voters are asked about which parties’ candidate they’d support in Senate and governor’s races in November.

In states with Senate races, 47 percent said they’d back the Democratic candidate, while 36 percent would vote for the Republican. And in states with gubernatorial races, 45 percent of respondents back the Democratic candidate and 32 percent support the GOP challenger.

When it comes to party brands, both major parties have similar underwater favorability ratings. Forty-two percent of voters approve of the Democratic Party, while 58 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, the GOP has a negative favorability of 41-59 percent.

“We continue to show a blue edge going into the last month though the public disapproves of both parties by wide margins,” said Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll co-director Mark Penn.

“The voters are set for a typical congressional midterm swing against the party in the White House absent any developments here.”

The top issue for voters is health care, with 37 percent making it their biggest priority, according to the poll.

Democrats have been seizing on improving health care as a key message this cycle, including through ads that spotlight a Republican-led lawsuit that seeks to overturn ObamaCare, imperiling a popular provision that protects those with pre-existing conditions.


Another top priority for voters is immigration, which was picked by 33 percent of voters. Many Republican candidates have, like President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE, sought to use immigration and border security as a wedge issue in top Senate and House campaigns.

Republicans have also been touting the strength of the economy under the current administration, but the economy and jobs ranks number four in terms of top issues at 24 percent.

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll online survey of 1,228 registered voters was conducted September 26 to 27. 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.

Full poll results will be posted online later this week. 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.