We’ve repeatedly emphasized over this cycle how much a president’s approval rating is tied to midterm election results. But that typically reliable historical metric could be broken this year. So far, Senate Democrats are outperforming where President Biden currently sits in their states — but can that last? That is one of the critical questions that will likely determine Senate control, which now looks far more favorable for Democrats to retain the majority than once thought. These charts look back at the most recent midterm elections in 2014 and 2018, comparing where the then-president was and what percentage his party’s incumbents and candidates ended up getting on Election Day. Additionally, we have listed where Biden’s approval is currently in competitive Senate races this cycle, compared to where polls have the Democratic incumbent or candidates registering. We will periodically update this over the next two months until Election Day. As President Obama’s numbers sagged in 2014 and Democrats last lost Senate control, his own approval rating was around 46 percent nationally by November, according to data from FiveThirtyEight. But Democrats were
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