Following a week which most Republican strategists would like to forget, voters are actually a bit more bullish about the GOP’s chances in November. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 40% of Registered Voters think the Republicans will emerge victorious while 35% pick the Democrats. A week ago, the expectations were more evenly divided.
Republicans are favored because GOP voters are more confident of victory. Among Republican voters, 77% expect their team to win. Just 67% of Democrats think the same about their team.
Democrats need to pick up a net of 23 seats to win a majority in the House. To accomplish that goal, most analysts believe they would have to win the nationwide popular vote by five to seven percentage points. Currently, the ScottRasmussen.com Generic Ballot polling shows Democrats with an eight-point advantage. Other polling shows similar results.
Among those most likely to vote, 45% pick the Republicans to win while 39% expect to see a Democratic majority. Urban voters expect the Democrats to win. Suburban and rural voters expect the opposite (see question wording and crosstabs).
Republican strategists are worried that overconfidence may depress the GOP turnout in November. It may be the result of many people simply disbelieving the pundits after the near universal prediction that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election in 2016. Or it may simply be partisan blinders.
Another possible explanation is that voters aren’t yet tuned into the election season. Just 26% are following news about the elections Very Closely. Another 40% are following the news Somewhat Closely. The fact that many voters aren’t yet engaged adds an element of volatility to the campaign season.
This survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted for ScottRasmussen.com on September 19-20, 2018 by HarrisX, a leading research firm specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). The statistical margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
A race-by-race analysis shows that Democrats are already favored to win 207 seats. That would reflect a net gain of 12, more than half of what they need. There are 20 toss-ups in play. Additionally, 12 more races are barely tilting in the GOP direction now. With a good Democratic turnout in November, they could flip as well.
Looking to the Senate, 42% of voters expect Republicans to retain control. Thirty-two percent (32%) expect the Democrats to win the majority there. Among those most likely to vote, 47% pick the GOP to win and 34% are counting on the Democrats. Those results are more in line with the conventional wisdom. See our race-by-race analysis for the Senate.
ScottRasmussen.com presents this data to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us and review all of our recent data releases).
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