NBC News/WSJ poll: Democrats hold the advantage in November’s elections

by Mark Murray

WASHINGTON — Six weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats hold a 12-point lead in congressional preference among registered voters, with nearly six-in-10 saying they’d like to see significant change in the direction President Donald Trump has been leading the country, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
The results suggest a political environment where Democrats have the clear advantage in their pursuit to win back control of Congress in November.

“Americans are hitting the brake in a midterm, and trying to send the signal that they’re not satisfied,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollsters at Hart Research Associates. “The public is clearly saying, once again, they want to shake up the status quo,” added Democratic pollster Fred Yang.

House leader Nancy Pelosi are potent in individual races; and that nearly 70 percent of voters are satisfied with the economy. In the survey, which was conducted Sept. 16-19, 52 percent of registered voters say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 40 percent who want the Republicans in charge.

That 12-point lead for Democrats — their highest of the cycle in the poll — is an increase from August, when they held an 8-point edge, 50 percent to 42 percent, although the change is within the survey’s margin of error.

In the larger pool of registered voters, McInturff points to warning signs for Republicans. They trail Democrats among moderates and independents by more than 30 points; they’re losing women ages 50 and older by nearly 20 points; and they’re behind among voters living in competitive congressional districts by 12 points, 53 percent to 41 percent. Additionally, a combined 59 percent of voters say they’d like to see either “a great deal of change” or “quite a bit of change” in the direction Trump has been leading the country. That includes 61 percent of independents and even a third of Republican respondents. And by a 42 percent-to-31 percent margin, voters say their message in November will be for more Democrats to serve as a check and balance to Trump and the congressional Republicans, instead of Republicans who will help Trump and the GOP pass their agenda.  President Trump’s job rating in the poll stands at 44 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove — essentially unchanged from August’s poll.