(CN) – With just 74 days to go before the mid-term elections, two new NBC News/Marist polls show Democrats with a comfortable lead in contests in Illinois and a tight Senatorial race in Texas.
In Illinois, 49 percent of registered voters said they favor Democrats taking control of Congress after November, compared to 35 percent who prefer the Republicans.
In contrast, registered voters in Texas favored Republican control by a margin of 7 points (47 percent to 40 percent).
When asked to explain their preference for Democrats, 57 percent of the respondents in Illinois said that they wanted “a check and balance to [President] Donald Trump,” while 32 percent said that they wanted “more Republicans who will help [the president] pass his agenda” going forward.
Perhaps more bracing to Republicans in Illinois is the fact 52 percent of respondents said if the election were held today, they would vote for a Democrat no matter who it is; meanwhile only 35 percent of respondents said they’d vote for a hypothetical, “generic” Republican candidate.
In Texas, 46 percent of voters said that they would vote for the Republican candidate today, whereas 43 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate.
However, more Texan respondents — 49 percent — said that their reasoning behind their vote was to help Democrats apply checks and balances against President Trump. This compares to 42 percent who said they’d vote Republican to help implement the president’s agenda.
Based on polling data on specific candidates in Texas, voters have indicated more support for Republican candidates, including incumbent Senator Ted Cruz and incumbent Governor Greg Abbott.
While a majority Texas respondents favored Cruz (9 percent), U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat, received the support of 45 percent support of respondents.
Right now, O’Rourke’s biggest problem appears to be name recognition. Forty-one percent of Texan respondents indicated favorability for the Democratic candidate, but 44 percent of them were either unsure of him or had not heard of him.
O’Rourke spent the summer visiting all 254 counties in Texas, but the new poll shows he’s still far a household name in the state.
In Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic candidate for governor, received the most support in the poll at 46 percent, whereas Republican candidate Bruce Rauner received 30 percent.
However, respondents in Illinois expressed only lukewarm support for either candidate.
Beyond the electoral contests, respondents in Illinois cited both health care and the economy as the most important political issue at 20 percent. In Texas, immigration was cited as the most important issue at 19 percent, followed by the economy and federal taxes and spending at 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Health care trailed behind at 15 percent for Texas respondents.
According to the pollsters, 831 Illinois adults were surveyed between August 12-16, with 88 percent being registered voters. In Texas, 970 adults were surveyed during the same period, and 78 percent of them were registered voters.