Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked heading into Election Day, with 46 percent of likely voters preferring a Republican-controlled Congress, and 45 percent wanting a Democratic-controlled one, according to the final national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before the election.
To put these numbers into perspective, Republicans held a six-point lead among nationwide likely voters (49 to 43 percent) right before the 2010 midterms, when the GOP picked up 63 House seats and six Senate seats.
So this is shaping up to a closer midterm election season, this polls finds.
That tight margin is reflected among likely voters living in the 10 most-competitive Senate battlegrounds (Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire and North Carolina), with 47 percent wanting a GOP Congress and 46 percent a Democratic one.
But the individual state polling tells a slightly different story: Three new NBC/Marist polls also released this Sunday morning show Republicans with the advantage in Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana, giving the GOP a clear path to a Senate majority next year.
Inside the numbers: Watching the gender gap
Republicans’ one-point lead among nationwide likely voters is essentially unchanged from last month’s NBC/WSJ poll, in which the GOP held a two-point advantage, 46 percent to 44 percent.
Inside the numbers, Republicans hold a double-digit edge among male likely voters (53 to 38 percent), while Democrats have a double-digit lead with women (52 to 39 percent).
Republicans have the advantage among white likely voters (54 to 37 percent), independents (40 to 30 percent), seniors (49 to 43 percent) and even those 18 to 34 (47 to 39 percent). But the NBC/WSJ pollsters caution that these numbers contradict most other polling of young voters.
Democrats have the advantage among African Americans (92 to 4 percent), Latinos (51 to 31 percent) and those ages 50 to 64 (50 to 43 percent).
Among the larger universe of all registered voters in this new NBC/WSJ poll, Democrats hold a four-point edge in congressional preference, 46 percent to 42 percent, which is unchanged from last month.
The rest of the NBC/WSJ poll will be released at 6:30 pm ET.
The survey was conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 1 of 1,200 registered voters (a margin of error of plus-minus 2.8 percentage points), including 826 likely voters (plus-minus 3.4 percentage points) and 275 likely voters in the Top 10 Senate battlegrounds (plus-minus 5.9 percentage points).