Polls Fuel a Republican Vibe Shift

A string of recent polls offered promising signs for Republicans’ fortunes in the upcoming midterm elections.


A string of recent polls offered promising signs for Republicans’ fortunes in the upcoming midterm elections.

  • Republicans led on the generic congressional ballot in a Monmouth University poll released Monday. Republicans’ 47%-43% lead represented a 10-point swing from August’s poll when Democrats led 50%-43%.
  • A new poll found Nevada Republicans leading in every statewide race. Adam Laxalt, the former attorney general, led Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto 45%-43%. Republicans need to flip one Senate seat and hold all their current seats to take control of the upper chamber.
  • The Democratic Senate candidates in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania appear to be paying a penalty for their progressive views on criminal justice policies after several polls found Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) ahead of Democrat Mandela Barnes and the Pennsylvania race deadlocked.
  • Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak is trailing Republican Joe Lombardo by 3 points in the same poll. Sisolak earned embarrassing headlines last week after he fired his Department of Corrections director on Friday after a convicted bombmaker’s prison escape wasn’t discovered for four days.
  • According to two polls released within the last week, Republican Christine Drazan has a narrow lead over Democrat Tina Kotek and independent Betsy Johnson in Oregon’s governor race. Oregon last elected a Republican governor in 1982, but 2022 may end Republicans’ forty-year drought.
  • Finally, a new Gallup poll found Republicans’ favorability rating of 44% is 5 percentage points higher than Democrats, only the third time Republicans have had a higher favorability rating than Democrats in the past decade. Democrats’ favorability rating reached its lowest point since 2015.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Axios reported eleven Republican House candidates raised more than $1 million in the third quarter. The 11 include the nominees for competitive open seats in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin and the G.O.P. challengers to Democratic incumbents in Virginia and Texas.
  • The New York Times reported on the Democratic strategy to counter the Republican polling resurgence: abortion, abortion, abortion. Democratic House candidates across the country are “leaning heavily into preserving abortion rights as a closing argument for their uphill bids to hang onto their seats.”
  • CNN’s Chris Cillizza argued a wave election is actually “a lot less likely for Republicans” than it seemed earlier this year. Cillizza interviewed several election handicappers who now expect Republicans to pick up around 20 House seats, giving them a relatively narrow House majority.


  • National Review noted four recent polls found the Pennsylvania Senate race between Dr. Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman neck-and-neck, even while hapless Republican nominee for governor Doug Mastriano trailed Democratic attorney general Josh Shapiro by 10 points.
  • The Washington Examiner published the results of a new NBC News/Telemundo poll of Latino voters. Democrats led with 54% compared to Republicans’ 33%, which represents a 21-point decline in Democratic vote share over the last 10 years.
  • Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti argued these polls and other recent stories indicate Republicans have recovered from their “summer swoon.” Continetti credits Sen. Mitch McConnell’s wave of negative ads attacking Democrats as soft on crime and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Martha’s Vineyard migrant transport with contributing to the vibe shift.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022