Democrats Face Bleak Midterms as Polls Show Majority Will Vote for GOP Candidates

Democrats could be set for bleak results in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections as recent polls show the majority of voters saying they will cast their ballots for Republican candidates.

Two polls taken in early November show that registered voters favor GOP candidates in the generic congressional ballot, which asks respondents which party they favor but does not refer to named candidates.

President Joe Biden's party currently holds 222 seats in the House of Representatives, while Republicans make up the remaining 213 seats following two special elections in Ohio this month.

The Senate is evenly divided, with 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with the Democratic Party.

This has meant Democrats have sometimes had to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris' deciding vote.

These razor-thin majorities may be at risk in next year's elections.

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll published on Monday found that 46 percent of respondents would vote for the Republican candidate in their local congressional district, while 38 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate.

That poll was conducted among 1,000 registered voters from November 3 to 5 and had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

A key finding of the Suffolk University poll may be the views of independents on the midterms, with 41 percent saying they would opt for the Republican candidate, 18 percent choosing the Democrat and 41 percent undecided.

An Emerson College poll conducted from November 3 to 4 found that 49 percent of voters would choose the Republican candidate, 42 percent would vote for the Democrat and nine percent were undecided. That poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters and had a margin of error of 3 percent.

Both polls found that President Biden's approval rating had slipped, with the USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll finding Biden's approval stood at 38 percent and the Emerson College poll giving the figure as 41 percent.

The polls were conducted before the House passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package late on November 5. The bill was already passed by the Senate and Biden is expected to sign it soon.

However, hope may not yet be lost for the Democrats. Poll tracker FiveThirtyEight began tracking the generic congressional ballot in September and provides an average figure.

On November 8, FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats a slight edge in the generic ballot with 43.2 percent to Republicans' 42.1 percent. Nonetheless, the trend currently appears to favor the GOP.

A CNN/SSRS poll conducted from November 1 to 4 had shown Democrats with a five-point lead over Republicans, while a YouGov poll conducted from October 30 to November 2 gave Democrats a seven-point lead.

It remains to be seen what impact passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill may have on 2022 polling.

Midterm elections often benefit the party that is not in control of the White House. Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterm elections while former President Donald Trump was in office and then narrowly won control of the Senate thanks to victories in two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5, 2021 - before Biden took office.

If Republicans are able to take back the House, the Senate, or both, they will be able to frustrate the president's agenda in the lead up to the 2024 presidential election.

Biden Speaks in the State Dining Room
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference in the State Dining Room at the White House on November 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Recent polls suggest Democrats could lose the 2022 midterm elections. Samuel Corum/Getty Images