Campaign signs sit in the rain outside a campaign rally with Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana, and former U.S. President Barack Obama, not pictured, in Gary, Indiana, US, on Sunday. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
The Democratic Party is poised to win a majority in the House of Representatives, polls show, but there are no guarantees and the party’s edge has narrowed in recent weeks amid heavy campaigning by President Donald Trump and a torrent of television advertising.
A CBS News “Battleground Tracker” poll projects Democrats to win 225 House seats, just beyond the 218 needed for a majority, in the most likely of three scenarios the network analyzed. YouGov surveyed almost 6,500 people for CBS in 66 competitive districts Oct. 30-Nov. 3 to make its assessment.
The projection however had a wide margin of error — plus or minus 13 seats — suggesting anything from a Democratic rout to Republicans maintaining control is possible.
Ronna Romney McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that about 27 House seats are within the margin of error heading into Tuesday’s election, and that in those districts, the strong U.S. economy makes a potent argument for her party.
“American voters are looking at what’s happened over the past two years,” she said. “They’re making more money. More jobs are coming back. That is a great closing argument in a lot of these House races that are within the margin of error.”
President Donald Trump has crisscrossed the country for weeks in a get-out-the-vote effort aimed at widening up the Republican majority in the Senate — where the electoral map is more favorable to the GOP — and attempting to hold the House. Two rallies are scheduled Sunday, in Georgia and Tennessee, and three more on Monday, in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri.
Trump’s efforts — driving hard on immigration and also highlighting economic growth and low unemployment — may be paying off, as the Democratic edge in a generic congressional ballot has narrowed as Election Day approaches.
The latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll of registered voters showed a 7-point lead for Democrats in a generic congressional ballot, down from 11 points in October and half its 14-point level in August. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday showed Democrats held a 7-point advantage, down from the 9-point lead seen in October.
Fifty percent of likely voters in the NBC/WSJ poll said they would prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress compared with 43 percent who want Republicans to remain in charge, the poll found. Among a wider survey of registered voters, Democrats led by 6 points, 49 percent to 43 percent.
Democrats held a wide lead among blacks, Latinos, women, independents and voters between the ages of 18 and 34, the poll showed. Republicans led among voters ages 50 to 64, men, and whites, according to the poll.
Voters from both parties reported a record level of enthusiasm heading into the midterm election. Among all registered voters, 70 percent reported being highly interested in the election, up from 61 percent at the same point in 2006 and 2010.
More than $3.7 billion has been spent on the election, including money from candidates, parties, committees, political action committees and outside groups, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The final tally is expected to exceed $4 billion.
Among those making a closing argument is Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. The Washington Post reported that Bloomberg will air $5 million in national advertising starting with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night. The two-minute ad features Bloomberg speaking directly to the camera and encouraging a vote for Democrats, the Post reported.
Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. He pledged to give millions of dollars in 2018 to help Democrats retake control of the U.S. House and told the New York Times that he’s considering a campaign for president as a Democrat.
Midterms are typically marked by low turnout, with older, white voters casting ballots in disproportionately high numbers. In that vein, 80 percent of seniors polled said they had a high interest in Tuesday’s election against 70 percent of all voters and just 50 percent of those ages 34 and below.
Trump’s approval rating among likely voters was 46 percent against 45 percent in October, the poll showed. That said, 59 percent of registered voters said they want a “great deal” or “quite a bit” of change in the country’s direction.
The NBC survey was conducted Nov. 1-3 of 1,000 registered voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Among the 744 likely voters surveyed, the margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The Post-ABC poll was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1 of 1,255 adults. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; the margin was 3.5 percentage points among 1,041 registered voters and 4 points among 737 likely voters.