(CN) — A new national Quinnipiac University poll reveals more Americans are itching for the Republican party to wrest control of both chambers of Congress away from the Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.
As the final weeks of the year draw down and 2022 draws near, both political parties have their attention trained on what is gearing up to be a highly contentious and competitive midterm election. Democrats seek to hold on to the slim majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate gained in 2018 and 2020, respectively, while the GOP aims to retake the congressional control they commanded during the first two years of the Trump administration.
But as both parties fight to see who assumes the power seats in the second half of President Joe Biden’s term, the Quinnipiac poll reveals some numbers that could test Democrats’ aspirations.
According to the poll, released Thursday, 46% of Americans want the Republicans to win control of the House of Representatives, while just 38% say the same for the Democrats. Another 16% have no opinion.
It’s a similar story for the Senate, according to the poll. Forty-six percent of respondents want the GOP to wrest control of the Senate away from the Democrats, while 40% say the opposite and 15% have no opinion.
While members of both parties back their own players, independents are pushing the needle more in favor of the GOP. Just over 40% of independents say they want the Republicans to win control of both chambers of Congress, compared to roughly 30% who say the opposite.
Quinnipiac University Polling analyst Tim Malloy says these numbers might not bode well for the Democrats as they enter the 2022 arena.
"An ominous double whammy for the Democrats with midterms less than a year out,” Malloy said with the release of the poll. “The Senate and the House will be up for grabs and voters want the GOP to win the jump ball.”
As for what kind of candidates voters are looking for when it comes time to cast a ballot, most Republicans have a solid idea of what they want — though the rest of Americans don’t quite agree.
The poll reports 61% of GOP voters say they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who strongly embraces Trump and his ideas, while just 8% said that would make them less likely to vote for the candidate. Nearly 30% of Republicans say it wouldn’t sway them one way or the other.
The same doesn’t hold true for the rest of voters, however. Around 40% of Americans say that they would be less likely to support a candidate who backs Trump, while 29% say they would be more likely and 27% say it wouldn’t matter.
While these numbers don’t represent the strongest showing of popularity for the former president, the current occupant of the White House has a popularity deficit of his own.
According to Thursday’s poll, just 36% of Americans say they approve of the job Biden is doing in office, the lowest approval rating he has ever received from a Quinnipiac University national poll. Just over half give him negative marks, while another 10% have no opinion.
Some good news for the president, however, is that most Americans say they are behind the new infrastructure packages pushed by the Biden administration. Just under 60% say they support the $1 trillion spending bill recently signed by Biden to improve roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects around the country, as well as the $2 trillion spending bill on social programs — a bill that faces a tough road to passage.
As for whether the bills will be enough to put the Biden administration's popularity back on track, Malloy says it's unlikely.
"Is the Biden administration's signature legislation enough to start righting the ship? $3 trillion to fortify the country's infrastructure backbone and shore up the future of American families through social programs still gets hearty support from Americans,” Malloy said. “But from the character issues to the broad swath of national and international concerns, that ship continues to take on water.”
Thursday’s poll contained a sample size of 1,378 adults and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6%.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.