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CNN reporter explains how polling is 'underestimating' Republican strength ahead of 2022 midterm elections
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CNN reporter explains how polling is 'underestimating' Republican strength ahead of 2022 midterm elections

Polls surveying voters ahead of the 2022 midterm elections are likely "underestimating" the strengths of Republicans, CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten explained on Wednesday.

What are the details?

Heading into summer, polls showed Republicans with a significant lead over Democrats on the generic ballot, suggesting a "red wave" would hit the U.S. in November.

Recent polling, however, shows that lead shrinking.

But according to Enten, Republicans historically outperform what their July polling indicates. That means when all the votes have been counted, Republicans may still win the midterm elections in dominating fashion.

"If we were in fact to say, 'OK, we think it's underestimating one side,' I would think it would be underestimating Republicans," Enten admitted on CNN Wednesday.

"Here's why: Take a look at the July 27 House polling versus the November national vote, in midterm cycles where there's a Democratic president, we'll go back since 1994, right? And what we see generally we see some blue here, some Democratic leads in 2014, 1994, a tie back in 1998, Republicans +3," Enten showed.

"Then look at the November result, in each of these years, the Republicans outperformed their July polling in the November result, and the average shift from the July polling to the November result: an average shift of +6 points to Republicans," he explained.

So why the discrepancy? According to Enten, it boils down to registered voters compared to voters who actually turn out on Election Day.

"If we look at every single election since 1978 with a Democratic president, there has been a shift in the party ID margin," Enten explained. "More Republicans turnout on Election Day compared to what the actual registered voters are in midterm elections when there's a Democratic president."

What about Democrats?

Given the position of Republicans, anchor Jake Tapper asked Enten whether Democrats "should be looking at November in sheer terror."

"I would not be a big fan of what's going to happen in November if I were a Democrat," Enten responded, explaining the party in control of the White House historically loses in the midterms except when the president has high job approval ratings.

And unfortunately for Democrats, President Joe Biden's approval rating remains significantly underwater.

According to the FiveThirtyEight average of polls, 55.7% of Americans disapprove of Biden's job performance while only 39.2% approve.

Even Democrats seem to want a new leader. A new CNN poll released this week showed that a whopping 75% of Democratic voters want a different presidential nominee in 2024.

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