Two weeks before election day, the generic Congressional ballot remains deadlocked at 46 percent among off-year 2014 voters, just slightly outperforming recent polling averages and far outpacing 2010 national exit polling that showed Democrats losing the national House ballot 45-53 percent. Looking ahead, Democrats remain well-positioned for 2016—among the 2012 Presidential electorate, a generic Democratic candidate leads their Republican counterpart by 4 points, 47-43 percent.
While Democrats still trail among Independent voters, the current 39-44 percent deficit among this key bloc is considerably smaller than at any point in our polling since early 2013. Unlike 2010, when Democrats lost the national House vote among women, they currently maintain a 49-41 percent advantage with women voters.
Democrats have made real gains in consolidating the Rising American Electorate coalition that had previously been underperforming. In our last survey in June, Democrats led among the RAE 55-36 percent, a net 6 points off their 2010 performance among this bloc. The vote among the RAE now stands at 63-28 percent, putting the Democratic vote share right at 2010 levels (62 percent) with this group. This is driven in part by improvement among minority voters (72-20 percent now; 67-24 percent in June), but largely via shift among unmarried women (63-28 percent now; 54-37 percent in June).
This is according to Democracy Corps’ final national survey of the 2014 cycle conducted October 16-21, in which we have shifted methodologies to provide the most accurate assessment of the national electorate possible. While we have historically conducted our national surveys using Random Digit Dialing (RDD), we conducted this survey using Registration Based Sampling (RBS) off of the Catalist voter file. This allows us to both sample and define off-year and presidential year voters using voter history data from the file instead of relying on self-reported vote history and vote intention which academic studies and long real-world experience have shown are significantly less accurate. The sample for this survey consisted of voters who voted in the 2012 election or who registered after it. Perhaps more important, our definition of likely voters is based on a combination of vote history from the voter file and stated vote intention, which our internal analysis has shown in the most accurate prediction of actual likelihood of voting. Listed RBS sampling also has the added benefit of allowing us to more effectively achieve representative demographics prior to weighting by allowing us to stratify our sample based on demographic data that is listed on the file. We called 50 percent of voters on cell phones, as we have done in the past.