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Surprise: Poll shows GOP with a lead on generic 2018 ballot

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows the GOP with a one-point lead over Democrats on the generic ballot. The poll also shows that 47 percent of voters approve of President Donald Trump's job performance. (Getty Images)

The Republican Party is leading on a generic 2018 congressional ballot, a newly released Politico/Morning Consult poll said.

This is the first time since President Donald Trump's inauguration that a national survey has shown the GOP with a lead in the upcoming midterm elections, according to the list of polls available at Real Clear Politics.

The poll revealed that 39 percent of voters are likely to back the Republican candidate in their congressional district while 38 percent said they'd vote for the Democratic candidate.

Though Democrats have held a lead on the generic ballot for more than a year, their margin has been shrinking of late.

The Real Clear Politics polling average of the 2018 generic ballot before the Politico poll had Democrats with a 6.6-point advantage, which — though still significant — is down from the party's 13-point peak in late December.

How is Trump's approval rating?

The president's approval rating also has improved. According to Politico, Trump's approval rating matched his disapproval rating for the first time since April. The poll shows that 47 percent of voters approve of Trump's job performance, and 47 percent disapprove.

Republicans overwhelmingly approve of the president performance, with 82 percent approving and only 16 percent disapproving. Not surprisingly, the president does poorly among Democrats — only 16 percent approve. And he's still 10 points underwater among independents: 39 percent approve while 49 percent disapprove.

Any other good news for Republicans?

Voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on the issue that's most important to them: the economy.

According to the poll, more than a quarter (27 percent) of voters said the economy was their No. 1 issue when considering who they will vote for this year, followed by health care, seniors issues and security issues.

When asked whom they trust more to handle the economy, 43 percent said Republicans and 32 percent said Democrats. This is a significant change from December when, as Politico reported, voters were more likely to trust Democrats on the issue, 39 percent to 38 percent.

Republicans also are more trusted when it comes to handling national security (47-28), jobs (42-33) and immigration (42-36).

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