Democrats Are Gaining Ground on Republicans

Democrats appear to be gaining ground against Republicans in the generic congressional ballot, although the GOP is still ahead as the two parties prepare for the crucial 2022 midterm elections.

Analysis from poll tracker FiveThirtyEight shows that support for the Democratic Party has been on the upswing since late January, but it still needs to overcome a gap if it wants to win in November.

Republicans are hoping to retake control of the House of Representatives and the Senate in the midterm elections. Controlling either chamber would likely allow them to stymie President Joe Biden's agenda.

FiveThirtyEight is tracking the generic congressional ballot through an analysis of polls and its own system of pollsters ratings.

Those polls ask Americans whether they would support Republicans or Democrats in an election.

Democrats enjoyed 42 percent support in the generic ballot on January 1, 2022 and Republicans had 42.8 percent support.

By January 20—the one-year anniversary of Biden coming to office—support for Democrats had fallen to 41.7 percent, while Republicans enjoyed 43.3 percent support.

The numbers appeared to indicate that while the GOP was gaining in support, Democrats' support was declining. However, the president's party now seems to be making up ground.

Democrats enjoyed 42 percent support in the congressional generic ballot on January 23, compared to 43.5 percent for Republicans. Support for both parties has risen since January 20.

As of Wednesday, February 3, support for Republicans stood at 44.3 percent and support for Democrats was 42.4 percent, a gap of just 1.9 percent between the parties. The figures suggest undecided voters could be a decisive factor in the upcoming midterms and there is still room for both parties to make gains.

Though this modest rise may good news for Democrats, they are still behind Republicans, and the GOP is still gaining support.

Both the GOP and Democrats have improved their position since the end of January, but Democrats may still need to overcome that gap if they hope to retain control of the House and Senate.

The president's party typically does poorly in midterm elections and Democrats have struggled to pass President Biden's agenda, with the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act now effectively dead in the Senate.

The Biden administration is also facing a confirmation process for the president's as yet unnamed pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. It remains to be seen if any Republican senators will vote for Biden's eventual choice, and with Democrats' razor thin majority in the Senate, the nomination could prove more acrimonious than expected.

Biden's own approval rating also remains in negative territory despite a slight bounce in early January. The president enjoyed 41.5 percent approval as February 3, while disapproval of Biden stood at 53 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight's analysis.

Schumer, Biden and Pelosi at the Capitol
U.S. President Joe Biden, center, joined by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), left, and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-NY), walk through the Hall of Columns before speaking during a ceremony on the first anniversary of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2022 in Washington, DC. Democrats have made gains in the generic congressional ballot for 2022 but Republicans are still ahead Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images