GOP Voters Remain Very Optimistic About Midterms

When all the votes are counted in November, 80% of Republican voters believe their team will retain majority control in the House of Representatives. Just 5% expect the Democrats to take over.

While most political analysts expect the Democrats to win, Republican voters are more optimistic than Democratic voters. Among the Democrats, 71% expect their team to win while 16% expect the Republicans to come out on top.

Among all voters, the GOP is narrowly favored by a 40% to 37% margin. Men, by an 11 point margin, think the GOP will win. Women, by a four-point margin, expect the Democrats to gain control (see question wording and crosstab results).

This is the sixth time we’ve asked about expectation and the results have been generally consistent. Last week, the GOP was favored by a 39% to 36% margin.  Voters were evenly divided in early October.

In the past, voter expectations have often been a good indicator of election outcomes. However, these expectations conflict with data showing the Democrats have a solid lead on the Generic Congressional Ballot. One possible explanation is that the Republican voters sense something that has not yet been picked up in the polling or by the analysts. Another is that the GOP voters remember how pundits and analysts in 2016 overwhelmingly predicted a victory for Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to win control of the House. They would probably have to win the popular vote nationwide by about six or seven points to accomplish that goal. Currently, the Generic Ballot polling shows Democrats with a slightly larger lead in the range of eight or nine points. If that lead shrinks in the coming weeks, analysts may begin to move their estimates closer to the voters.

This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted October 21-22, 2018 by and HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

As for the Senate, voter and pundit opinions are more closely aligned. Forty-six percent (46%) of voters expect the GOP to maintain or expand their majority in the Senate. Thirty-one percent (31%) think the Democrats will take over. That 15-point gap is the largest yet measured. In early September, voters were evenly divided as to which party would win the Senate.

The mission of is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). Receive the latest insights each day by signing up for Scott Rasmussen’s Morning Update

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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