Democrats' Chances of Keeping Both House and Senate Are Improving: Polls

The Democrats' chances of winning both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections are improving, based on an analysis by national poll tracker FiveThirtyEight.

President Joe Biden's party is currently favored to win the Senate, while Republicans are favored to win the House, but the Democrats appear to be picking up momentum.

FiveThirtyEight said the GOP's chances of taking the House were 72 percent as of Thursday compared to the Democrats' 28 percent. However, those figures represent a movement toward the Democrats.

On September 2, the same analysis gave Republicans 75 percent chance of taking the House, while Democrats had 25 percent, a move of three points in two weeks.

Republicans are facing a bleaker picture in the Senate, where FiveThirtyEight's analysis shows Democrats with a 71 percent chance of taking the chamber compared to the GOP's 29 percent.

On September 2, the same analysis showed Democrats with just 68 chances in 100 of taking the Senate and Republicans with 32 chances in 100. FiveThirtyEight's model now rates Democrats as "favored" to win the Senate but they were previously only "slightly favored" to do so.

The poll tracker includes data from a wide variety of pollsters and assigns each one a rating using its own system to arrive at its final figures.

Biden Celebrates the Inflation Reduction Act
U.S President Joe Biden arrives to an event celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act on the South Lawn of the White House on September 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Democrats' chances in the midterms for both House and Senate appear to be improving. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Democrats' position in the upcoming midterms has been steadily improving despite the fact the incumbent president's party generally performs poorly in midterm election years and Biden's approval ratings have been low.

The president's approval rating has been rising in recent weeks, however, with Biden's approval standing at 42.3 percent as of Thursday based on FiveThirtyEight's tracker. His disapproval rating was 53.1 percent.

With less than two months until the midterms, it remains to be seen if Democrats can pick up enough momentum to keep control of the House and the Senate. If they can do so, it would be a significant victory.

The last time neither chamber of Congress changed hands was in the 1998 midterms when Republicans retained the House and Senate despite modest Democratic gains in the House. The composition of the Senate also changed slightly.

It's worth noting that the 1998 midterms were considered a disappointment for Republicans at the time as the party had hoped to make gains following major victories in 1994.

It's difficult to speculate about why Democrats' chances are improving and the current polls may not be borne out in November but recent legislative victories such as the Inflation Reduction Act and concerns about abortion rights could be part of the apparent shift.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed into law on August 16, is seen as reviving his Build Back Better agenda, which had stalled earlier his presidency, while the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the landmark 1973 abortion ruling Roe v. Wade may be cause for concern for Republican candidates if voters prove to be motivated by the ruling.