Turnout isn’t only reason for rosy Republican midterm outlook

Turnout isn’t only reason for rosy Republican midterm outlook

The electorate in midterm elections tends to be whiter and older than in presidential years. But — despite the focus of a lot of media coverage — that’s not the only reason Republicans are favored to win the Senate and keep the House in November. The GOP has gained ground relative to 2012 among registered voters, not just likely voters.

In the closing days of the 2012 election, Democrats led the generic congressional ballot by an average of 3.2 percentage points among registered voters, according to the final five polls that released registered voter numbers (CBS/New York TimesCNN/ORCGallup,United Technologies/National Journal and YouGov/Economist).

The generic ballot is a standard polling question that typically pits a generic Democrat against a generic Republican in a race for Congress. It’s one of the best indicators of the national political environment. Over the past month, the Democratic advantage among registered voters on the generic ballot is down to 0.5 points. That’s a gain of 2.7 points for Republicans.

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