Democrats weren't exactly singing hallelujahs on Sunday. With a little more than a week before Election Day, new polling of key Senate races showed that if anything, momentum in the midterm election may be tilting—however slightly—toward Republicans.
A joint survey by NBC and Marist College gave GOP candidates an edge in five battleground contests—Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas and North Carolina—though all of the races were within the margins of error. South Dakota, a contest Democrats hoped was in play, appears far out of reach.
The NBC/Marist College results were released the same day YouGov made public its most fourth and final survey with CBS and the New York Times, also showing signs of a comeback for Senator Pat Roberts in Kansas. The Republican incumbent is now polling ahead of independent candidate Greg Orman, who became the unexpected favorite in that race after Democrats were allowed to drop their candidate from the ballot.
Republicans have expanded their advantage in the final days of the midterm campaign and now hold an 11-point lead among likely voters on the question of which party should control Congress, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg survey finds.
Some 52% of likely voters in the survey said they wanted the election to produce a Republican-led Congress, while 41% favored Democratic control.
A week earlier, Republicans had held a narrower, 5-point lead on the question in the Journal/NBC/Annenberg survey.
“The Democrats, who badly need some momentum, find little comfort in these results some ten days out from the election,” said pollster Peter D. Hart, who helped conduct the survey. “The thread holding things together for them is both more slender and now even frayed.”
By historical measures, an 11-point lead on the question of which party should control Congress is large. Republicans held a seven-point lead on the question at this point in the 2010 election in a Journal/NBC survey, which used a different method to determine which voters were most likely to cast ballots. Republicans went on that year to make big gains in the Senate and to retake the majority in the House.
In the new survey, Republicans also led on the “congressional control” question among registered voters, a broader group than likely voters, with 46% favoring GOP leadership and 42% favoring Democratic control. The GOP lead had been two percentage points a week earlier.
“The GOP appears to be solidifying its lead,” said Mr. Hart.