Poll shows Democrats and Republicans tied for control of Congress ahead of midterms – live | US politics

Let’s dig deeper into the two polls that came out over the weekend and amount to a mixed bag for the Democratic party as they face losing control of potentially both house of Congress in the upcoming midterm.

First, the headline: voters in the NBC News poll are split over which party they’d prefer to see in charge of Congress, with 46% each backing the GOP and Democrats. That, however, is an improvement from August, when Republicans had a slight edge. GOP voters do lead in terms of enthusiasm, but not by much, which is a reversal from the double-digit lead they had earlier this year.

Consider those the silver linings for the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, from a poll that otherwise confirms they will have to fight to keep their jobs. But there were also more disquieting signs from NBC’s data, such as the 47% of voters who say Biden’s policies have hurt the economy, versus the 23% who say they’ve helped and the 28% who say they’ve made no difference at all.

The New York Times/Siena College poll of Hispanic voters is important because the demographic is considered a bulwark of Democratic support, with some analysts predicting that increasing numbers of Hispanic voters pose a long-term threat to the GOP’s support base. The former remains true, at least for now, with 56% percent of respondents to the poll saying they plan to vote for Democrats. Dig a little deeper and the news isn’t quite so good for Joe Biden’s party. Economic issues are the biggest motivator for Hispanic voters, but the data showed they are almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans on which party they agree with most on the economy.

Key events

Joe Biden is on Air Force One right now over the Atlantic, returning from paying his respects at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II – the first time an American leader has done so, according to presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

He elaborated in a series of tweets this morning:

Amazingly enough, first incumbent American President to attend a British monarch’s funeral is Joe Biden.

— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) September 19, 2022

Reasons why Harry Truman did not attend King George VI’s funeral in 1952: no Presidential jet plane in 1952, any ship would have had to sail to UK on choppy winter seas and by 1952, Truman was privately in shakier health than the public knew.

— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) September 19, 2022

Meanwhile, former president Barack Obama released his own tribute to Elizabeth II:

Michelle and I were lucky enough to know Her Majesty The Queen. Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with extraordinary generosity. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family and those mourning her passing. pic.twitter.com/pHzpUJwgYb

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 19, 2022

Here’s the latest from The Guardian on the queen’s funeral, which will conclude later today:

Among the many things Congress has on its plate before the year is up is potentially passing legislation to amend the law so the legal maneuvers behind the January 6 insurrection could not be attempted again. Ramon Antonio Vargas has the latest on the effort:

Two members of the US congressional committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack have revealed details of a bill proposing to block any other attempt to coerce the House and the Senate “to steal a presidential election”.

On Sunday, House members Liz Cheney and Zoe Lofgren wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal outlining reforms to the Electoral Count Act that they said would ensure “Congress can’t overturn an election result,” which is what those who staged the Capitol attack in early 2021 wanted.

“It’s past time”, added Cheney – a Republican from Wyoming – and Lofgren, a California Democrat.

They cited how a number of people seeking political office in November’s midterm elections, including those who would oversee the electoral process, have embraced lies from former president Donald Trump that fraudsters stole the election from him against Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race. Those lies inspired Trump’s supporters to mount the Capitol attack in a desperate plot to prevent the House and Senate from certifying the former Republican president’s electoral college loss to his Democratic rival.

Joe Biden made news over the weekend when he declared the Covid-19 pandemic “over”, even as the United States’ daily death toll from the virus remains substantial. Here’s more from the interview broadcast on CBS’ 60 Minutes:

Joe Biden has said “the pandemic is over” in an interview broadcast on Sunday, though he admitted “we still have a problem with Covid”, as the US continues to grapple with coronavirus infections that kill hundreds of Americans a day.

The president told CBS’s 60 Minutes: “We still have a problem with Covid. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing.”

Last week the World Health Organization declared the end of the pandemic was “in sight”, after revealing that weekly deaths were at the lowest level since March 2020.

Biden hails release of American hostage in Afghanistan

Joe Biden has cheered Mark Frerichs’ release from Taliban captivity in Afghanistan, saying it underscores his administration’s commitment to winning the freedom of Americans detained overseas.

Here’s the full statement from the White House:

Today, we have secured the release of Mark Frerichs, and he will soon be home. Mark was taken in Afghanistan in January, 2020 and held for 31 months. His release is the culmination of years of tireless work by dedicated public servants across our government and other partner governments, and I want to thank them for all that effort. I spoke with Mark’s sister today to share the good news and express how happy I am for Mark’s family. Bringing the negotiations that led to Mark’s freedom to a successful resolution required difficult decisions, which I did not take lightly. Our priority now is to make sure Mark receives a healthy and safe return and is given the space and time he needs to transition back into society. My Administration continues to prioritize the safe return of all Americans who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, and we will not stop until they are reunited with their families. We have much more work to do in many other cases, but Mark’s release demonstrates our enduring commitment. Like our work to free Americans held in Burma, Haiti, Russia, Venezuela, and elsewhere, it is our duty to do all we can to bring our people home.

Biden has faced particular pressure to end the detentions of WNBA star Brittney Griner and business executive Paul Whelan, both of whom have been held by Russia as it pursues its war in Ukraine.

Let’s dig deeper into the two polls that came out over the weekend and amount to a mixed bag for the Democratic party as they face losing control of potentially both house of Congress in the upcoming midterm.

First, the headline: voters in the NBC News poll are split over which party they’d prefer to see in charge of Congress, with 46% each backing the GOP and Democrats. That, however, is an improvement from August, when Republicans had a slight edge. GOP voters do lead in terms of enthusiasm, but not by much, which is a reversal from the double-digit lead they had earlier this year.

Consider those the silver linings for the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, from a poll that otherwise confirms they will have to fight to keep their jobs. But there were also more disquieting signs from NBC’s data, such as the 47% of voters who say Biden’s policies have hurt the economy, versus the 23% who say they’ve helped and the 28% who say they’ve made no difference at all.

The New York Times/Siena College poll of Hispanic voters is important because the demographic is considered a bulwark of Democratic support, with some analysts predicting that increasing numbers of Hispanic voters pose a long-term threat to the GOP’s support base. The former remains true, at least for now, with 56% percent of respondents to the poll saying they plan to vote for Democrats. Dig a little deeper and the news isn’t quite so good for Joe Biden’s party. Economic issues are the biggest motivator for Hispanic voters, but the data showed they are almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans on which party they agree with most on the economy.

Polls show race to control Congress neck-in-neck, GOP gaining little ground among hispanics

Good morning, US politics readers. We’re 50 days away from the midterm elections that will decide control of Congress for the next two years, and a new poll released by NBC News over the weekend shows Democrats tied with Republicans on the question of which party voters prefer controlling the legislature. That’s cutting it pretty close for Democrats, but there was better news to be found for them in a New York Times poll that showed most Hispanic voters – a key bloc that the GOP has been courting – continuing to back Democrats.

That’s not all that’s happening today:

  • News just broke that the Biden administration won the release of the last American hostage in Afghanistan, swapping him for a jailed Taliban drug lord.

  • Biden is departing London after attending the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II and is heading back to Washington.

  • Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader who could soon be the chamber’s next speaker, is unveiling the GOP’s “commitment to America” at an event in Pittsburgh.

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