Michael Lee
Tue, October 5, 2021, 4:55 PM

A pollster that typically leans toward Democrats shows the Republican Party with a lead in its latest generic congressional ballot poll, a potentially concerning sign for Democrats as next year’s midterms loom.

“Though the numbers are not overwhelming, they signal a potentially ominous trend for Democrats as a plurality of voters recommend tossing out the party that controls the House,” said Tim Malloy, an analyst at Quinnipiac University Polling, the pollster behind the latest numbers.

The poll asked Americans which party they would prefer controlled the House of Representatives if the election were held today. Among registered voters, 47% said they would prefer Republicans, while 44% said they would rather see Democrats in control.

The numbers could be more troublesome for Democrats than they appear on the surface, due to Quinnipiac’s tendency to slightly bias toward their party. According to opinion poll analysis done by data journalism publication FiveThirtyEight, Quinnipiac receives an “A-” grade for accuracy but has a typical bias of about 0.5 points in favor of Democrats.

The survey, which was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, represents the first time Republicans have led in the poll since Quinnipiac began asking the question in May.

Quinnipiac’s first generic congressional ballot poll of the 2022 cycle, which was conducted between May 18 and May 24, showed Democrats with a nine point lead over Republicans. The last time the pollster released a generic congressional ballot poll, a survey conducted between Sept. 10 and Sept. 13, Democrats had a four point lead over Republicans.

The numbers come as President Biden has recently grappled with multiple crises, including worrisome COVID-19 numbers, concerning jobs numbers and the the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Those crises have also dented Biden’s popularity with the voting public and led to a worsening approval rating. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Biden enjoyed a positive approval rating as recently as Aug. 19. Those numbers have reversed since, with the average now showing more voters disapprove of his job performance as of Monday.