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Fox News Poll: Republicans have edge in 2014 midterm ballot test

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Oct. 11, 2013: The U.S. Capitol Building is pictured at sunset in Washington.Reuters

The latest Fox News poll finds that if the 2014 midterm elections were held today, 43 percent of voters would back the Republican candidate in their House district, while 39 percent would vote for the Democrat. 

Of course the election isn’t today. It’s five months away. And for the fifth straight time this year, the results on this congressional generic ballot question have reversed in our Fox News poll. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

Last month, the Democratic candidate had the edge by three percentage points. In April, the Republican was up by three. In March, it was Democrats +2 and before that it was GOP +2. 

Democratic pollster Chris Anderson says this indicates an unsettled environment among voters. 

“That said,” Anderson adds, “most other findings in the poll suggest an increasingly favorable environment for the Republicans heading toward the midterms.”

Anderson conducts the Fox News poll with Republican pollster Daron Shaw. Shaw notes his party’s advantage grows when looking only at those voters who are “extremely” or “very” interested in the election: 48 percent would back the GOP candidate, while 37 percent would support the Democrat. That’s almost unchanged from last month when the Republican candidate was favored 46-39 percent.

“What drives the difference between the overall results and the subgroup of interested voters is that 61 percent of Republicans are interested in the upcoming election, while just 55 percent of Democrats are,” Shaw says. “What might concern Republicans is that interest in the election among their party faithful is down five points from last month, while interest is up five points among Democrats.” 

Even so, by an 11-point margin, voters think the Republican Party is better on foreign policy, and by a 10-point margin it is seen as the party that would work harder to reduce taxes. The GOP also has a slim four-point edge on being seen as the party that would do more to improve the economy. Republicans are seen as more “pro-business” by a whopping 44-point margin.

To varying degrees, independents favor the Republican Party on each issue tested, and prefer the GOP candidate on the generic vote by 14-points.

Poll pourri

By a five-point margin, voters think a Republican politician is more likely to lie to them than a Democrat. Still, the largest number -- 46 percent -- says both politicians are equally likely to lie to the public. 

Among independents, 10 percent say a Democratic politician is more likely to lie to them, 12 percent say a Republican and 69 percent say “both.” 

Overall, first-time candidates (37 percent) and incumbents (36 percent) are seen as equally likely to lie. Another 22 percent says “both.”

Speaking of incumbents, 78 percent of voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Just 13 percent approve. 

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from June 1-3, 2014. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.