'Unprecedented Enthusiasm' in Midterms Gives Democrats 9-Point Lead

As the mid-term elections come around the corner, Democrats hold a 9-point advantage when eligible voters are asked which party should control Congress. 

Fifty percent of voters are blue, while 41 percent want Republicans to remain in power. The Democratic-leaning lead is fueled by the support of women, Latinos and younger voters, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. 

If the registered voting pool was widened, the lead would lessen to 7 points. 

A notable finding within the poll was the level of enthusiasm among registered voters. 72 percent of Democrats say they have a high interest in the upcoming elections, compared to 68 percent of Republicans. 

This poll was also record-breaking -- 65 percent of all registered voters said they were interested in midterms, which is the largest number seen since the 2006 poll. 

“Midterms are about mobilization, and we are headed into the stretch run with unprecedented enthusiasm among both parties,” Fred Yang, the Democratic pollster, told NBC News

According to the poll's findings, Trump is at an all-time high approval rating of 47 percent. Looking toward the midterm elections, however, 33 percent of registered voters in the poll say their vote for Congress in 2018 will be a signal of opposition to the president.

Whereas 29 percent say their vote will be a signal of support; 36 percent say it won’t be a signal either way.

The poll also found that Republicans led by 15 points on the questions of which party better handles the economy – their biggest lead in the poll's history, according to NBC News. 

Republicans also hold the advantage on trade, handling the Supreme Court nomination process and changing how Washington works.

On the other hand, Democrats have the advantage of looking out for women’s interests, health care, the middle class and immigration.

Overall, the one thing registered voters could agree on was the U.S. is divided – 85 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Republicans. 

When asked to elaborate on what caused the division, the top Republican answers were “Barack Obama,” “Liberals,” “Democrats” and “The Media.” While top Democrat answers were “Donald Trump,” “The Republican Party” and “The Media.”

These divided answers and strong feelings, Yang says in an NBC News report, indicate “an electorate in turmoil and flux.”

The live-caller NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Oct. 14-17 of 900 registered voters – almost half via cell phone – and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.3 percentage points. Among the 645 likely voters in the poll, the margin of error is plus-minus 3.9 percentage points.

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