Less than eight weeks away, the 2022 midterm elections might prove the most consequential in decades.
All 435 House seats are up for grabs, while 35 are available in the Senate.
With a low – but increasing – approval rating, President Joe Biden hopes that his string of summer legislative victories and a widely unpopular and Republican-driven Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade will catapult Democrats to success.
Meanwhile, Republicans are counting on inflation, high prices, and the economy to sway voters in their direction.
Democrats currently have a slight edge in both houses of Congress, where the GOP needs only to flip one Senate seat to retake the majority.
Current polling varies based on who’s conducting it.
A CBS News Battleground Tracker shows Democrats hold small majorities in the House and Senate.
It takes 218 seats to win control of the House, and the Tracker currently estimates that if the House elections were held today, Republicans would see a net gain of 13 seats and hold 226 seats, while Democrats would win 209.
CBS’ Tracker noted that, in the Senate, Republicans need a net gain of just one seat to flip control of the evenly divided chamber.
CBS News said it classifies 10 of the 35 races as battleground contests – four are considered tossups (Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Wisconsin); three are leaning in favor of the Republican candidate (Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio); and three are leaning toward the Democrat (Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire).
A New York Times/Sienna College poll found that “even as they struggle to persuade voters that they should be trusted on the economy, Democrats remain unexpectedly competitive in the battle for Congress as the sprint to November’s midterm election begins.”
The Times/Sienna researchers reported that a surprising Democratic strength had been bolstered by falling gas prices and Biden’s success at breaking through legislative gridlock in Washington to pass his agenda.
Democrats are also benefiting from factors over which they had little control: the public outcry in response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of federal abortion rights and the return of former President Donald Trump to an attention-commanding presence on the national stage, the pollsters wrote.
Some of the key races include those in Georgia.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams are running neck-and-neck in their rematch of the 2018 nailbiter.
A new Quinnipiac University poll showed Kemp at 50% of likely voters and Abrams at 48%. However, the poll noted a 2.7% margin of error.
The Georgia Senate race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker isn’t as close, polling revealed.
Warnock currently has a 6-point lead over Walker, with the two scheduled for a debate on Oct. 14 in Savannah.
Fifty-two percent of likely Georgia voters say they plan to support Warnock, while 46% called the Trump-backed Walker their pick.
Interestingly, the poll found that voters “overwhelmingly said their minds are already made up.”
Ninety-four percent of respondents supporting a candidate in the race for governor say they have already decided whom they will vote for in November. However, when it comes to the Senate contest, 96% of voters said the same, the pollsters reported.
In Pennsylvania, Democrat John Fetterman continues to lead Trump-backed Republican Mehmet Oz.
According to a Monmouth University poll, Fetterman enjoys a positive personal rating of 47% favorable to 42% unfavorable.
The poll found just under half of the electorate will either definitely (32%) or probably (17%) vote for him in November.
Oz has a net negative personal rating of 36% favorable to 52% unfavorable. About 4 in 10 will definitely (23%) or probably (16%) vote for him. Slightly more Pennsylvania voters say they definitely won’t vote for Oz (45%) than completely rule out Fetterman (38%).
Along with Georgia, races that will draw national interest include Senate contests in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.
Also, 36 states have gubernatorial contests this year, including Texas and Florida, where controversial Republicans Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are overwhelming favorites to retain office.