Democrats have taken the ‘generic ballot’ lead ahead of midterm congressional elections: Wall Street Journal poll

Democrats are entering the homestretch before November’s election in better shape than earlier this year, boosted by gains among independent voters, improved views of President Biden and higher voting enthusiasm among abortion-rights supporters, a Wall Street Journal poll shows.

Republicans have electoral fuel to tap into if they can keep the debate focused on the economy and what has been the highest inflation in four decades. Nearly two-thirds of registered voters say the economy isn’t good or poor — a larger share than in the last Journal survey, in March — and close to two-thirds say the pain of higher costs makes them more likely to cast a ballot.

Don’t miss: Inflation falls for first time in more than two years, key U.S. gauge shows, due to sinking gas prices

Also see: Jobless claims tumble to nine-week low of 232,000. U.S. layoffs still historically low.

Democrats hold a slight edge over Republicans, 47% to 44%, when voters are asked which party they would support in their congressional district if the election were held today, a lead that is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. Republicans had a five-point advantage in March.

See: Betting markets now see Democrats keeping their grip on Senate in midterm elections

The Democratic gains come from increased support among independents, women and younger voters. Black and Hispanic voters, who have traditionally favored Democrats heavily, are also more solidly supportive of the party than they were earlier this year.

Among political independents, typically the key to victory in close elections, more voters now favor a Democratic candidate for Congress than a Republican, 38% to 35%. In March, Republicans led among independents by 12 percentage points.

An expanded version of this report appears at

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