Are polls getting the midterms wrong?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

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Earlier this year, most political analysts expected Republicans to make big gains in the November midterm elections, as the party that doesn't hold the White House usually does. But the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, clearing GOP-led states to impose abortion bans, motivated Democrats, especially women, to push for huge turnout in favor of Democrats willing to fight for abortion rights. Falling gas prices helped, too, as did hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's examination of former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents. Suddenly, expectations of a "red wave" faded, and polls showed Democrats likely to hold onto the Senate, now split 50-50. Republicans still appeared likely to win the House, but by a narrower margin than previously expected.

Recently, that Democratic momentum has stalled. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday showed Republicans chipping into Democrats' edge in a weekly generic congressional ballot poll. The GOP trimmed the Democrats' lead to 45 percent vs. 43 percent, compared to 46 percent vs. 41 percent a week earlier. FiveThirtyEight still gives Democrats a 70 percent chance to hold onto control of the Senate. RealClearPolitics, however, projects that Republicans will seize control of the Senate, after factoring in past underestimates of GOP support. It predicts the GOP will pick up Democratic seats in Arizona and Georgia, and hold onto Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where some polls show Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) neck-and-neck with Democrat Mandela Barnes.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.