"Though the numbers are not overwhelming, they signal a potentially ominous trend for Democrats as a plurality of voters recommend tossing out the party that controls the House," announced Tim Malloy, an analyst at Quinnipiac University Polling, the pollster behind the latest numbers.
The survey questioned Americans which party they would prefer to control the House of Representatives if the election were held today. Among registered voters, 47% announced they would prefer Republicans, while 44% replied they would rather see Democrats in power.
The numbers could be more troublesome for Democrats than they look on the surface, due to Quinnipiac's tendency to somewhat bias toward their party. According to opinion survey analysis done by data journalism publication FiveThirtyEight, Quinnipiac gets an "A-" grade for accuracy though has a typical bias of roughly 0.5 points in favor of Democrats.
The poll, which was carried between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, represents the first time Republicans have led in the poll since Quinnipiac started asking the question in May.
Quinnipiac's first generic congressional ballot poll of the 2022 cycle, which was carried between May 18 and May 24, revealed Democrats with a nine-point lead over Republicans. The last time the pollster issued a generic congressional ballot poll, a poll carried between Sept. 10 and Sept. 13, Democrats had a four-point lead over Republicans.
Those crises have further dented Biden's popularity with the voting public and led to a worsening approval rating. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Biden enjoyed a positive approval rating as recently as Aug. 19. Those numbers have reversed since, with the average now showing more voters disapprove of his job performance as of Monday.