The Battle For Congress Shapes Up

Control of both the House and the Senate will be up for grabs in November. It would be great for Republicans to take control of the Senate, but it is absolutely vital that they retain, and if possible expand, their grip on the House. Today, Rasmussen Reports released their most recent generic Congressional preference numbers:

With less than eight months to go before election day, Republicans have a six-point lead in their battle to maintain their narrow House majority.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that if the elections for Congress were held today, 47% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican candidate, while 41% would vote for the Democrat. Just four percent (4%) would vote for some other candidate, but another eight percent (8%) are not sure.

Not too many years ago, a six point lead for the GOP would portend a November wipeout. But those days are gone, as pollsters apparently have figured out how not to undercount Republicans. By way of comparison:

The GOP’s advantage has narrowed slightly since January, when they led by nine points – 49% to 40% – over Democrats.

Two years ago, in March 2022, Republicans had an 11-point lead on the generic congressional ballot. In the final poll before Election Day 2022, Republicans held a five-point lead, and scored a net gain of nine seats to capture a 222-213 House majority.

So the current six-point lead is no guarantor of success in November.

The breakdown of the data is interesting in several ways. First, the numbers for minorities:

Forty-nine percent (49%) of whites, 28% of black voters and 51% of other minorities favor Republicans, while 40% of whites, 53% of black voters and 37% of other minorities would vote Democrat if the election were held today.

So “other minorities”–Hispanics and Asians–are more favorable to Republicans than whites. Meanwhile, Democrats score best with the highest-income demographic (51% to 35%), while Republicans dominate those with incomes between $30,000 and $50,000 (57% to 33%). The realignment we have been hearing about for a while is well and truly here. For decades liberals have derided Republicans as the party of the rich; one wonders whether that theme is even worth pursuing today.

Some stereotypes hold: the Democrats suffer from a terrible gender gap.

A substantial “gender gap” has developed in the generic ballot, with men favoring Republicans by a 15-point margin – 51% to 36% – while women voters prefer Democrats by a slender margin, 46% to 43%.

All of which suggests a close Congressional election, with key variables being the top of the ticket–relatively weak for both parties–and candidate quality, a metric in which the GOP has often fallen short.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.