A poll favours Republican Party for US midterm elections

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The latest polling in the United States gives the Republican Party the edge just three weeks ahead of the midterm elections that will decide which party controls both Houses of Congress.

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 34 Senate seats are in play, in addition to 36 state governorships with early voting already underway in more than a dozen regions across the country.

Democrats currently hold a slim 8-seat majority in the lower house while the Senate is evenly split between both major parties with Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris providing a tie-breaking vote when required.

And with the power of which Party controls the legislative branch at play, there are profound implications for the second half of President Joe Biden’s first term in office.

The sitting President’s Party often doesn’t do well in the midterm elections- ask former President Barack Obama whose party lost 63 seats in the House and six Senate seats two years after his historic presidential victory – or former President Donald Trump whose Republican Party lost 42 seats in the House in 2018 handing the gavel back to Democrats.

Director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, Dr Doug Schwartz, says, “There is historical precedent during midterms for the party in power losing seats in the House of Representatives during the first term of a new president. That gives the Republican Party the advantage. However, that precedent is being tested this year because of the Supreme Court decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, which established the constitutional right to an abortion. Taking a look at the US Senate, which is evenly divided among parties, Republicans only need to gain one seat to take control of the Senate. In our big-picture snapshot in our national polls, voters are split over which party they’d want to see take control of the Senate as of late August.”

Add to the Republican advantage, the latest data from a New York Times/Sienna Poll that shows 49% of likely voters favouring Republicans heading into the midterms compared to 45% who plan to vote for Democrats as the economy and high inflation provide an obstacle for the governing party despite the abortion issue.

Schwartz adds, “Midterms are usually a referendum on the sitting President. President Biden is still unpopular, but he has improved significantly over the last few months. He has risen to about a 40 percent job approval, but that is still a low number and traditionally that does not bode well for the president’s party in the midterms.”