A new poll indicates that self-described independent voters would prefer Republicans regain control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections by a 18-percentage point margin.
The poll by John Zogby Strategies, released last week, found that 45 percent of Independents want the GOP in charge of the House and Senate, compared to 27 percent who want Democrats to keep their majority. The remaining 28 percent said they were undecided in their choice.
The same survey found that Republicans held a three-point advantage, 46 percent to 43 percent, on the generic congressional ballot.
“In my four decades of polling, Democrats need about a five-percentage point advantage [in] nationwide Congressional preference in order to maintain a majority of Congress,” pollster John Zogby said in a statement. “With a three-point Republican lead, and a substantial lead among Independents, signs are pointing today to the possibility of a big Republican advantage going into 2022.”
The same poll put President Biden’s approval rate at 46 percent, with 52 percent of respondents disapproving of his performance. While Biden’s approval number is higher than in some other recent polls, Zogby noted that 40 percent of respondents said they “strongly” disapproved of the president’s work.
“Biden’s overall numbers are borderline at 46 percent, but with 40 percent strong disapproval, his room for growth is severely limited,” he said.
Only 20 percent of respondents said they “strongly” approved of the president’s performance.
The online survey of 777 registered voters was conducted Dec. 17 and carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.6 percentage points.
Biden’s approval numbers plummeted during his first year in office as the White House grappled with several crises, including the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, supply chain backlogs, new COVID-19 variants and inflation.
Additionally, congressional Democrats have been unable to pass the president’s $2 trillion social spending agenda due to the opposition of moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Republicans only need to win a net of five seats to regain control of the House of Representatives, and 23 House Democrats have already announced they are not seeking reelection next year.