NPR/Marist Poll: Republicans Lead Democrats on Generic Ballot – First Time in 8 Years

The symbols of the Democratic(L) (donkey) and Republican (elephant) parties are seen on display in Washington, DC on August 25, 2008. The Democratic National Convention kicks off Monday in Denver Colorado followed by the Republican National Convention next week in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Republicans led Democrats on the generic congressional ballot for the first time in eight years in a poll of registered voters conducted by NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist.

The recent poll conducted by the outlets showed that Republicans have a three-point lead on a generic ballot. Of the 1,162 registered voters who participated in the survey, 47 percent said they would pick the unnamed Republican when asked which candidate they would support if the election was held “today.”

In comparison, only 44 percent said they would vote for the unnamed Democrat. Three percent chose “other,” and seven percent said they were unsure whom to vote for.

The poll marks the first time since August 2014 that the Republicans have led on the congressional ballot. That year the Republicans held a five-point lead, with 43 percent saying they would vote for the GOP candidate, 38 for the Democrat candidate, six percent said other, and 12 percent were unsure.

In 2014, the Republicans won control of the House and Senate.

This year, with both the House and Senate at stake, the Republicans are going up against the Democrats’ slimmest majorities in modern history. Republicans in both chambers are going on the offense.

In the lower chamber, the GOP has only to net gain five seats to win back the majority, and they have an upper hand in some cases with 32 House Democrats announcing they would not be seeking reelection.

The majority is also on the line in the upper chamber since the Senate is split evenly at 50/50, meaning the Democrats cannot lose any seats and the Republicans need only one.

The Marist Poll was sponsored by NPR and PBS NewsHour and was conducted April 19-26 with a 3.7 percent margin of error.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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