A new national poll suggests the midterm elections could end up being a lot tighter than Republicans are hoping for, and not the blowout that Democrats are fearing. Of course, the devil is in the details, and there’s nothing predictable regarding voter sentiments in a midterm election that pits urban against rural, abortion-rights versus forced birth, and pro-Trump versus pro-democracy, along with a heavy dose of unpleasant economic news.

A New York Times/Siena College poll from July 5-7 found that barely a percentage point divides the two parties when it comes to preferences on congressional races, and when independents and undecideds are added to the mix, the results suggest that a Republican sweep might not be inevitable. The poll results need to be taken with a huge dose of skepticism, however, largely because the survey only reflects moods at a national and regional level, not at the granular level of congressional districts where the balance of Congress ultimately will be decided.

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