The Red Wave Is Real—Here are Eight Polls That Prove It

Signs that the Republican Party is riding a so-called "red wave" to success in the midterms appear to be coming to fruition, with a number of surveys showing the party increasing its lead over the Democrats in generic congressional polls.

The GOP has long been predicted to win back control of the House on November 8, with the race to regain control of the Senate still too close to call and relying on a number of toss-up races.

While the Democrats overtook the GOP in national average polls in late August and September—in the wake after the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and amid the economy recovering slightly from the summer—the GOP is now seeing its leads increasing in a number of surveys just days before the polls open.

gop red wave midterms
Supporters attend a primary election night event for J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Ohio, at Duke Energy Convention Center on May 3, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The GOP is seeing a surge in a number of polls just days before the midterm polls open. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

According to the most recent Cygnal survey, the GOP has gone from being tied on 47 percent with the Democrats in a generic congressional poll in September to being two points ahead by October 21 and three points ahead by October 30.

Around the same time, a national Wall Street Journal survey of 1,500 voters found that the GOP had overtaken the Democrats compared to previous polls.

The late October poll gave the GOP a 2 point lead (46 percent to 44) over the Democrats, a complete turnaround from the paper's August survey which gave the Democratic Party a 47-44 percent lead when respondents were asked if they were likely to vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate for Congress.

A new Quinnipiac University national poll also showed a turnaround in voter sentiment from the summer. It found 48 percent of registered voters wanted to see the Republicans win control of the House of Representatives, compared with 44 percent who favored the Democrats. That marked a shift from a similar poll on August 31 when 47 percent said the Democrats and 43 percent said the Republicans. There was a similar turnaround in which party voters wanted to see controlling the Senate.

The poll also found that more Republicans than Democrats were more motivated to vote than usual for midterm elections. "Who wants it more? It may come down to a tried-and-true sports axiom. The hungriest team wins the game, and the Republicans seem to have the edge," Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said.

An Emerson College poll published October 21 also showed the Democratic Party losing support to the GOP compared to September.

In the October generic congressional ballot, 46 percent of voters said they plan to vote for a Republican candidate and 41 percent a Democratic candidate. The previous Emerson College poll had both parties tied on 45 percent, meaning Republicans increased their support by one percentage point, and Democrats lost four percentage points in a matter of weeks.

"Among those who say they are 'almost certain' they will vote this November, congressional Republicans lead by ten percentage points, 51 percent to 41 percent, Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling, said in a statement.

"Among those who say they will only 'probably' vote, Democrats lead by 11 percentage points, 45 percent to 34 percent."

Elsewhere, a New York Times/Siena poll from mid-October revealed that 49 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for a Republican on November 8, with 45 percent saying they would opt for a Democrat.

The results shows yet another turnaround for the GOP, who were behind two points to the Democrats (46 to 44 percent) in the previous NYT/Sienna Poll of registered voters in September.

Another October poll also showed the GOP overturning a deficit to retake the lead from the Dems in a generic congressional poll. A Monmouth University survey, released October 20, showed the GOP with a 49-45 percent lead when respondents asked for their preference for party control of Congress.

In a previous Monmouth poll in August, the Democrats had a 7-point lead in the generic congressional ballot, with exactly half of likely voters saying they would back a candidate from their party compared to 43 percent for the GOP.

Two surveys from Data for Progress also show the GOP has increased its lead slightly, with a mid-October survey having the Republicans' lead at 3 points (48-45) and later four points by late October (49-45).

Finally, a Suffolk University-USA Today poll released October 27 revealed that 49 percent of likely voters said they would vote for a Republican candidate in the midterm elections, compared to 45 percent who said they would back a Democratic candidate.

The latest poll is another complete turnaround, with a late July Suffolk University poll giving the Democrats a four-point lead over the GOP, 44 percent to 40 percent.

According to FiveThirtyEight's national poll average, the Republicans now lead the Democrats by 46.4 percent to 45.2 with just days until the midterms, with the Democrats being ahead as recently as October 18.

A separate national poll average from Real Clear Politics give the GOP a three-point lead over the Democrats (47.9 percent to 44.9), with the Democrats last ahead in late September.