A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that Republicans maintain an edge ahead of the Nov. 4 midterm elections. The poll found that 46 percent of 1,000 voters in both parties favor a Republican-controlled Congress, as opposed to 44 percent who prefer a Democratic one.
The poll was taken from Oct. 8 to Oct. 12, when news broke about a Dallas nurse who tested positive for Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who succumbed to the virus, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. The poll also showed a record-high level of awareness of major news events, as 98 percent of voters had heard or read about Ebola, according to the WSJ/NBC poll.
President Barack Obama’s low job approval ratings has helped the GOP. At 40 percent, the president’s approval rating is the lowest of his career, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows. Obama also has all-time lows in his handling of foreign affairs, immigration and terrorism, the poll finds.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll shows approval for Obama’s handling of the Islamic State group conflict in Iraq and Syria has plunged 15 percent in the past two weeks. Separately, the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that more Americans back the use of U.S. ground forces, in addition to airstrikes, to fight Islamic State militants. The Obama administration has insisted that the U.S. won’t send troops to fight the radical terrorist group in a “combat role” in either Iraq or Syria.
According to the ABC News/Washington Post poll, Americans feel the country has gotten worse off rather than better off under Obama’s nearly six-year incumbent presidency. Seventy-seven percent of pollsters are concerned about the direction of the economy, and 57 percent say the standard of living in the country is declining, the poll shows.
Voter dissatisfaction spreads beyond the president. The Democratic Party’s popularity is at its lowest in polling in 30 years, with over half of Americans viewing the party unfavorably for the first time, the ABC News/Washington Post poll found. However, the WSJ/NBC poll shows that half of all potential voters feel negatively about the Republican Party, a level considerably higher than in September.
“When you are sitting on top of an unstable, ticked-off electorate, there is a joker in the deck that ought to give us a little bit of caution,” Republican pollster Bill McInurff told the Wall Street Journal.