CQ Roll Call emailed the poll to aides on Sept. 14 and they had until Sept. 22 to respond. Of the 132 who did, 67 identified themselves as Democrats, 64 as Republicans and one as an independent.
Nearly two-thirds of the Democratic aides said they expected the virus to redound to their party’s benefit on Election Day, while a majority of Republicans predicted either that they will benefit, or that the virus will not affect how people vote.
The aides were mostly sanguine about what Congress has done so far, with a plurality rating Congress’ efforts to combat the virus as effective, and a narrow majority offering the same assessment of Congress’ relief for Americans who’ve lost income because of the virus and the lockdowns used to restrain its spread. Republican staffers gave Congress slightly higher ratings than Democratic ones.
With a little more than a month to go until Election Day, aides of both parties are feeling positive about their prospects. Despite polls showing both Trump and the Senate GOP majority in jeopardy, most Republican aides who filled out the poll said they expected Trump to win and the Senate to remain in their party’s control. It was not close, with 69 percent forecasting Trump’s reelection, and 88 percent a GOP Senate in 2021. (Notably, only 8 percent thought the Republicans would win back the House.)
Meanwhile, most of the Democratic aides, 86 percent, predicted that Joe Biden would beat Trump, while almost every one of them, 97 percent, foresees Democrats retaining the House. A plurality of 48 percent said they’d also win enough seats take over the Senate.