FigureWith less than two weeks to go before the midterm elections, the Democrats not only continue to maintain a double-digit advantage nationally, but also lead by the same margin in the competitive districts that will determine which party controls the House of Representatives. Nationally, the Democrats hold a 49%-38% lead among registered voters, and a nearly identical 50%-39% lead among those voters most likely to cast ballots on Nov. 7.

An oversample of voters in 40 competitive districts ­ identified by a consensus of political analysts ­ shows that voting intentions in the battleground districts are about the same as they are in the “safe” House districts. Among registered voters, the Democrats lead by 11 points in competitive districts (50%-39%) and by the same margin in safe districts (49%-38%).

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted among 1,552 registered voters – including 528 who reside in competitive districts – shows that Iraq continues to be the dominant issue for voters. More than four-in-ten voters (45%) view the situation in Iraq as the most important, or second most important issue in their vote, the highest percentage for six issues tested. In competitive districts, slightly more (50%) cite Iraq as a top issue in their vote.

Public views of Iraq continue to be overwhelmingly negative, with a solid majority of Americans (59%) saying the U.S. military effort there is not going well. Republicans, who have been steadfast backers of the war, are now rendering more negative judgments about how things are going in Iraq.