Democrats now have a slight advantage over Republicans in the battle for control of Congress, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
Four in 10 American voters now say they would vote for a Democrat for Congress vs. 38% who say they would choose a Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives, the poll finds. Independents preferred Republicans over Democrats, 35% to 27%. The findings reverse the edge the GOP has had in the so-called "generic ballot" in the last three national surveys taken by Quinnipiac.
Democrats need to win 17 seats to gain control of the House, which will be a challenge for President Obama's party in the 2014 midterm elections.
The downside for Democrats in the poll released Wednesday is they "continue to be viewed as the lesser of two evils," says Quinnipiac. It's not as though either party is held in high esteem: 30% of voters say they approve of the job being done by congressional Democrats while 18% say they same for the GOP.
The Quinnipiac pollsters also found that issues such as health care and immigration could impact how someone may vote. Four in 10 voters say they're less likely to vote for a candidate who supports the Affordable Care Act, while 27% say they are more likely to do so. On immigration, 39% of voters said they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the USA vs. 29% say they are more likely to cast a ballot for someone who does support the issue.
A winning issue for Democrats: 50% of voters said they'd support a candidate who wants to raise the minimum wage, the poll says.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,578 voters from March 26-31. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.