CBS News pollster Anthony Salvanto does not see a blue wave on the horizon in November’s midterm elections at this point.
Salvanto told the New York Post that current polling shows few House seats will change hands, meaning the Republican Party could hold on to its majority.
The GOP presently holds a 236 to 193 edge, or 43 seats.
Salvanto believes 85 percent of the districts represented by that breakdown will stay in the current party, which leaves about 15 percent in play.
“Right now I think this election looks like a toss-up,” he said. “We see a Democrat pickup in the House of Representatives in the 20-odd seat range, but Republicans could certainly hold on to the House.”
“Even though Republicans have not fared well in special elections so far this cycle, it does look like they will be turning out for the midterms,” Salvanto added. “So far we do not see a large number of Republicans saying they will flip and vote for a Democrat.”
Traditionally, GOP voters are more likely than Democrats to show up for midterm elections, meaning the Democrats are banking on new voters making the difference this November, according to the Post.
“Views of (President Donald Trump) are a major factor,” Salvanto stated. “The more intensely you feel about him, the more important you think the midterms are.”
The pollster noted that Trump’s approval rating with Republicans has stayed strong.
Overall, the Real Clear Politics average of polls has him at 43.6 percent approval.
“We looked at how presidential approval ratings vary over their first year, and it turns out President Trump’s have been the steadiest ever measured,” Salvanto noted. “That’s because his approval numbers among Republicans have been very steady and very strong.”
The Cook Political Report rates 181 current Democrat seats as solid holds heading into the midterms, while the Republicans have 153.
However, when those rated likely or lean toward a party are factored in, the advantage shifts in the GOP’s favor, 203 to 192. Forty seats are rated as a toss-up.
Two hundred and eighteen seats are needed to gain the majority in the House.
On the Senate side, the numbers play much more in the Republicans’ favor, showing a solid opportunity to build on the party’s slim 51 to 49 advantage.
The Democrats have 26 held seats up for election this fall, while the GOP only has nine.
Cook rates five of the Democrat seats as toss up, including Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
For the Republicans, the seats currently held by retiring Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee along with Sen. Dean Heller, who is seeking re-election, are rated as toss-ups.
Based on this break down, the GOP could easily net two or three seats in November.
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