In YouGov polling asking respondents which party’s candidate they’d pick in this year’s Congressional elections, Democrats have reached a level of support that’s the highest recorded since the beginning of one publicly available recap of the pollster’s data.
In polling dated August 29, Democrats nabbed 46.4 percent of the support, and Republicans had 37.7 percent. Democrats have mostly led in YouGov’s Congressional polling conducted since last November, a year before the upcoming elections. Recently, a variety of positive developments have unfolded that stand to boost Democratic chances in the midterms, including falling gas prices, which have driven overall decreases in reported levels of inflation. Democrats also secured legislative successes including the enactment of a bill called the Inflation Reduction Act that contains key pieces of the party’s policy agenda in areas including healthcare and fighting climate change. On the healthcare side, the bill will eventually allow Medicare to finally negotiate the costs of certain prescription drugs, and it will eventually cap Medicare recipients’ yearly prescription costs at $2,000, meaning they’ll pay no more beyond that level.
The YouGov data from August 29 reflects the responses of registered voters (a group distinct from so-called likely voters surveyed in other polls). Democrats are also doing well on the Senate side. Editors at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which is associated with the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, recently unveiled ratings changes for two high-profile Senate races on the ballot this year in Arizona and Pennsylvania. (In this context, a rating refers to a forecast.) The ratings changes moved both races from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.” Now, that particular source rates just two Senate races on the ballot this year, in Nevada and Georgia, as toss-ups. The Cook Political Report, which also produces forecasts for Senate races heading into November’s elections, also has those two states as toss-ups, alongside Arizona and Wisconsin. (It rates Pennsylvania “lean D.”) Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman, the editors who unveiled the change, cited issues including Democratic funding leads and difficulties with the public image for candidates on the Republican side.
In Arizona, a super PAC connected to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently abandoned some $8 million in ad reservations, adding onto an already substantial gap in ad expenditures, with Kelly leading as of a recent point. In Pennsylvania, Oz hasn’t led in a single major poll released publicly since the general election face-off between the celebrity and John Fetterman, who’s currently Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, began. Oz is also dealing with PR issues, like the decades he lived in New Jersey before much more recently moving to Pennsylvania and his multiple mansions, the existence of which doesn’t exactly help his attempts to depict himself as essentially sticking up for everyday Pennsylvania residents.