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NYT/CBS Poll: Dems Ahead 15 Percent in Mid-Term Races

With 47 days to go before the mid-term election, Democrats have a 15 point lead over Republicans among registered voters in a generic vote for congressional representatives, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted 9/15-19. As Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder explain in their NYT poll summary:

In the poll, 50 percent said they would support a Democrat in the fall Congressional elections, compared with 35 percent who said they would support a Republican....In one striking finding, 77 percent of respondents — including 65 percent of Republicans — said most members of Congress had not done a good enough job to deserve re-election and that it was time to give a new people a chance. That is the highest number of voters saying it is “time for new people” since the fall of 1994.

But Elder and Nagourney warn that Dems should temper their expectations because of several factors:

But the poll found that Democrats continued to struggle to offer a strong case for turning government control over to them; only 38 percent said the Democrats had a clear plan for how they would run the country, compared with 45 percent who said the Republicans had offered a clear plan...Democrats face substantial institutional obstacles in trying to repeat what Republicans accomplished in 1994, including a Republican financial advantage and the fact that far fewer seats are in play...Most analysts judge only about 40 House seats to be in play at the moment, compared with over 100 seats in play at this point 12 years ago, in large part because redistricting has created more safe seats for both parties.

Still, Democrats can be encouraged by the fact that 43 percent of respondents said they were "more enthusiastic" about voting on November 7. In addition, Dems have narrowed the GOP advantage on addressing terrorism to 5 percent, according to the poll.