Voters Increasingly Favor Democrats for Congress, New Poll Shows

Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer Ron Wyden on Capitol Hill.   Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer Ron Wyden on Capitol Hill. Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey finds half of Americans want Democrats to control Congress.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Sunday found that 50% of people said they want Democrats to lead Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, compared to 39% who said they hoped Republicans would retain congressional control.

The NBC report notes the last time this poll awarded Democrats at least a 50 percent preference and a double-digit lead was in September 2008.

According to the Journal, the survey result represents a 4-point increase from a similar survey taken in October, and it is the first double-digit advantage for the party since shortly before the 2008 presidential election that resulted in a Democratic super-majority in the Senate, and control of both congressional chambers.

Democratic preference in both polls was slightly above data site 538's polling aggregator, which on Sunday showed that 48.5% of voters who said they would support a generic Democratic candidate in 2018, compared to 37.6% who preferred a generic Republican.

By contrast, Republicans have a 2-point edge among white voters (46 percent to 44 percent) and a 12-point advantage with whites without a college degree (50 percent to 38 percent).

Other recent polls suggest that despite a hard senate map, Democrats have a strong advantage heading into 2018.

Fifty-nine percent of Democratic voters said they had a "high level of interest" in the 2018 election, as compared with 49% of Republicans, the poll revealed.

The same poll shows President Donald Trump's job approval rating at 41 percent of all registered voters, up three points from October. Respondents who "strongly disapprove" of the president's performance, 48%, beat out those who "strongly approve", 24%, by a two-to-one margin, however, and 56% of Americans disapprove of the president overall.

"All in all, I think a 41% Trump approval and an +11D lead in the control of Congress definitely puts control of the Senate and the House as more doable for Democrats in 2018", Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates told NBC News.