Final Congressional Poll Shows Democrats With Momentum


In one critical measure reflected in the last NBC polling at the national level before Election Day in the midterm elections, Democrats are surging.

It’s enthusiasm: obviously not a perfect measure, but one that could weigh on something like turnout, which of course remains among the decisive factors in an election. In polls of individual Senate races, some surveys have found supporters of the Democratic candidate more enthusiastically behind their chosen candidate rather than just voting against the other side, but at the national level, NBC polling previously found Republicans leading on an enthusiasm measure. Asked about their level of interest in this year’s elections on a scale of one to 10, 73 percent of both Democrats and Republicans pinned themselves at either a nine or 10 in the newly available figures. In a poll from last month, Republicans led by nine percent, with 78 percent expressing a level of enthusiasm in that range versus just 69 percent of Democrats.

Enthusiasm about the elections is also up among independents, both compared to last month and when comparing November 2018, before that year’s elections. A full 59 percent of independents pinned themselves at either a nine or 10 in the new results. Last month, it was 52 percent, and in 2018, it was 49 percent. Among overall registered voters, which brings those of all party affiliations into the same category, enthusiasm in the range in question was at 70 percent. For nearly three-fourths of overall voters to express a high level of interest in this year’s elections seems reflected in turnout numbers (although the overall level of interest apparently mirrors those seen last month and before the 2018 elections). In Georgia, turnout is surging well beyond 2018 levels seen during early voting, with hundreds of thousands more votes already cast — and, according to one political analytics firm, Democrats outperforming their share of the early vote seen at the same point before the election back in 2018.

Overall, the outcome of the race for control of Congress remains uncertain. Among likely voters, Republicans and Democrats were basically tied when voters were asked in the new NBC polling which party they’d rather see control Congress after the midterms. (It was the same among registered voters.) At FiveThirtyEight, an elections data and analysis site, their nearly final “deluxe” forecast for control of the Senate — an estimate in which expert input is a factor — shows the face-off as basically a toss-up. (Republicans are expected to do better in the House.) In Georgia, young voters (18-29) have already cast more ballots during this year’s early voting than they did during early voting in 2018 at this same pre-election point — and the jump is already bigger than the margin by which Biden won Georgia in 2020. Nobody knows what’ll happen — although the party with a more levelheaded plan for dealing with U.S. issues is obvious.

Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons