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NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds voters want Democrats to control Congress

November 4, 2018 GMT

Democrats hold a 7-point edge over Republicans as voters decide which party should control Congress, according to a poll released Sunday that finds record enthusiasm on both sides.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal polls says 50 percent of likely voters want Democrats to lead Congress, while 43 percent want Republicans to retain the gavels.

The Democrats’ 7-point lead is down from the 9-point edge they measured in October.

Democrats lead among black voters, Latinos, young people, women and independents, while Republicans hold an edge with older Americans, men and whites.

White women without college degrees prefer Republicans by a 12-point margin, though white women with degrees clearly prefer Democrats, 61 percent to 33 percent.

The GOP hoping to stave off a blue wave Tuesday has managed to make races competitive, but “it feels slightly short of where you’d want to be for a national election,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff told NBC.

Both sides are revved up ahead of Election Day, with 85 percent of Democrats expressing a high level of interest in the elections versus 82 percent of Republicans.

Democrats will need to flip at least 23 House seats to return to the majority for the first time since 2010.

Winning back the Senate is a taller order for the party. Democrats are defending seats in 10 states that Mr. Trump won two years ago, meaning they risk losing ground despite professed enthusiasm on their side.

Republicans are using the threat of illegal immigration to drive their side to the polls, while pointing to robust economic numbers to defend their governance over the past two years.

Yet dissatisfaction with Mr. Trump is creating mixed signals heading into Election Day.

Six in 10 say they want a change of direction from the way Mr. Trump is leading the country, even as two thirds say they’re satisfied with the economy.

“If the GOP fails to hold the House, the president will only have himself to blame,” Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster, told NBC.