Democrats' Midterm Chances Dwindling as Republicans Gain Strength: Polls

Democrats could be heading for a defeat in the crucial 2022 midterm elections as polls indicate that more voters would rather see the Republican Party in control of Congress.

Analysis from poll tracker FiveThirtyEight has found that Republicans' lead over Democrats in the generic congressional ballot has continued to creep up ahead of the November elections.

FiveThirtyEight tracks the generic ballot by analyzing a wide variety of polls and using its own system of pollster ratings. As of Tuesday, they gave the GOP 45.2 percent support compared to 42.8 percent for Democrats.

Though this represents a lead of just 2.4 percent, the GOP has continued to make gains over Democrats in the generic congressional ballot. On April 19, Republicans enjoyed 44.7 percent support to Democrats' 42.4 percent—a lead of 2.3 percent.

While both parties have made gains over a seven-day period, Republicans have expanded their lead, while Democrats have failed to pull ahead in FiveThirtyEight's analysis since November 16, 2021.

A relatively small polling lead could be of major importance in close races that decide control of Congress.

Individual polling on the 435 races in the House of Representatives has been relatively limited so far and many primaries have not yet taken place. But it appears control of the Senate could be decided in a small number of highly competitive elections.

The Senate currently consists of 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. The Democratic majority has occasionally needed Vice President Kamala Harris' casting vote to pass legislation and invoke cloture on nominations.

Some vulnerable Democratic senators are facing strong challenges from Republican candidates that could decide the balance of power in the Senate.

Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia was trailing Republican challenger Herschel Walker in an Emerson College poll conducted from April 1 to 3. Walker, a former American football star, led Warnock with 49 percent to 45 percent.

A traditionally red state, Georgia backed President Joe Biden in November 2020 and elected two Democratic senators in a major electoral upset in January 2021. The Republican primary will be held on May 24.

In New Hampshire, Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan appears to be facing a strong challenge from her potential Republican opponents. A University of New Hampshire poll conducted from April 14 to 18 showed Hassan losing to GOP primary candidate and state Senate President Chuck Morse with her 44 percent of support to Morse's 46 percent.

The same poll showed Republican Kevin Smith, a member of the state's House of Representatives, with 44 percent support to Hassan's 45 percent, while retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Don Bolduc recorded 46 percent support to Hassan's 47 percent.

The GOP Senate primary in New Hampshire will be held on September 13.

In Nevada, polling has been mixed for Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who was one point behind Army veteran Sam Brown in a Suffolk University poll conducted from April 2 to 6. She enjoyed 39 percent support to Brown's 40 percent.

However, an OH Predictive Insights poll conducted from April 1 to 9 showed Masto leading Brown 42 percent to 34 percent. The two polls also differed when it came to another Masto competitor, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

While the Suffolk University poll showed Laxalt beating Masto by 43 percent to 40 percent, OH Predictive Insights found Masto with 43 percent support to Laxalt's 35 percent. The outcome of the race may be of huge importance to Democrats seeking to hold the Senate. The primary will take place on June 14.

If Republicans continue to make modest gains in the generic ballot and close races remain competitive, Democrats will be at serious risk of losing control of the Senate, House or both. A Republican win in either chamber would allow the party to stymie Biden's agenda for at least two years.

Newsweek has asked the Democratic National Committee for comment.

Joe Biden Signs an Infrastructure Bill
U.S. President Joe Biden (3rd-R) talks to Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (2nd-R) as Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (R) and Vice President Kamala Harris (L) look on after signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as he is surrounded by lawmakers and members of his Cabinet during a ceremony on the South Lawn at the White House on November 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Polls indicate Democrats may be headed for defeat in the 2022 midterm elections. Alex Wong/Getty Images