President Donald Trump has turned one familiar feature of midterm election campaigns inside out: Democrats are now more likely to vote than Republicans.
That remarkable finding emerges from the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll just two weeks before Election Day. As the president's job approval rose to an all-time high of 47 percent, Republicans narrowed their double-digit September deficit for control of Congress to seven percentage points among all registered voters.
But among the smaller group considered likely voters, the Democratic advantage grows to nine points, 50 percent to 41 percent.
"It's something I've never seen before," said Bill McInturff, the veteran Republican pollster who conducts the NBC/WSJ survey with Democratic counterpart Peter Hart. "The likely voter model tips toward the Democrats."
That signals a break, at least temporarily, in recent midterm pattern of Democratic candidates suffering from sub-par turnout among sympathetic constituencies, especially Latinos and younger voters. In October 2010, just before Republicans recaptured the House, and 2014, the electorate became more Republican as the universe of those registered was winnowed to likely voters.