GOP takes edge in congressional generic ballot: poll

The GOP has a narrow edge in the generic congressional ballot heading into the 2022 midterms, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill.

Forty-five percent of registered voters surveyed said they would vote for the Republican candidate in their congressional race, compared to 42 percent who said they would back the Democratic contender. Another 13 percent said they were unsure.

The poll comes as Republicans grow increasingly optimistic about their chances to take the House next November. GOP candidates have already begun seizing on a sluggish economy, stubbornly high coronavirus case counts and the bloody withdrawal from Afghanistan to bash their Democratic opponents.

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That optimism is bolstered by historical trends showing that the party in the White House typically loses seats in the first midterm of an administration.

Democrats are defending one of the narrowest majorities in modern history, and strategists predict that the redistricting process alone could net Republicans the seats they need to flip the lower chamber.

Democrats are also typically estimated to need a slight edge in the generic ballot to stop them from losing seats.

“The public is once again sour on the president, the Democrats, the economy and the Republicans. Given the Democrats are in charge, this hurts them more and the Republicans now have the edge in any election,” said pollster Mark PennMark PennPoll: 30 percent of Americans say they approve of the job Congress is doing Majority of voters say Biden is unable to handle issues with Russia, China: poll Biden approval rating hits new low: poll MORE

Still, both parties’ approval ratings are underwater.

Only 38 percent of registered voters approve of the Democrats, while 55 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, 39 percent of registered voters approve of the GOP, compared with 54 who disapprove. 

The Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey of 1,578 registered voters was conducted from Oct. 26-28. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll. 

The 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.