Democrats Increase Chances of Keeping Congress: Poll

Democrats have increased their chances of retaining control of Congress in November, according to a new poll showing a slight rise in Americans who want the party in power

A Monmouth University poll conducted from July 28 to August 1 among 808 U.S. adults found that a combined 50 percent would prefer Democrats to control Congress, compared to 43 percent who would prefer Republicans.

Democrats have seen an increase in support in the Monmouth University poll over the past 3 months as 44 percent preferred President Joe Biden's party in May and 47 percent in June.

The poll's findings could be significant for Democrats, who are widely believed to be facing difficult midterm elections, but it is not yet clear if momentum is shifting away from the GOP.

While a total of 50 percent of respondents favor Democrats to control Congress, that figure breaks down into 38 percent who want the party in charge and 12 percent who have no initial preference but lean toward the Democrats.

Similarly, among the 43 percent who prefer Republicans, 34 percent back the party and 9 percent lean toward the GOP.

The survey found that overall support for Republicans has declined from 48 percent in May and 47 percent in June.

Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said: "Recent events, such as the Jan. 6th committee hearings and Supreme Court decisions, seem to have generated a bit more energy for the Democrats, but it is not clear that this is actual momentum. It may simply be ongoing volatility in a public largely unhappy with the way things are going in Washington."

The poll also contained some relatively good news for President Biden and showed that his approval rating appears to be stabilizing. Biden had 38 percent approval in the survey and 56 percent disapproval.

That compares favorably with the poll's findings in June, which found Biden's approval at 36 percent and disapproval at 58 percent. In May, he had 38 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval.

Economic policy was seen as the most important issue to respondents, with 24 percent saying it was their top concern when they were asked to choose from seven issues.

The cost of living and inflation at near 40-year highs are likely to be major issues in the midterms.

However, abortion came in second place in the poll with 17 percent, tied with gun control, while 14 percent of respondents said healthcare was the most important issue.

Those figures may reflect the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned landmark precedent establishing a constitutional right to abortion and recent deadly mass shootings that prompted Congress to pass the first gun safety legislation in 28 years.

Newsweek has asked the Democratic National Committee for comment.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden speaks about the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on July 28, 2022. A new poll shows Democrats have increased their lead over Republicans for control of Congress. Getty