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NBC/WSJ poll: GOP retains midterm advantage

According to the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the Republican Party still appears to have the edge heading into November.

Forty-five percent prefer a GOP-controlled Congress after this year’s elections, compared with 43 percent who want a Democratic-controlled Congress.

This is the GOP’s second-straight lead on this generic-ballot question, which hasn’t occurred since 2002.

“The Republican Party has a major advantage in the fall, and this poll just reconfirms that,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this poll with GOP pollster Bill McInturff.

Moreover, 32 percent say their vote this November will be a signal of opposition to President Obama, versus 27 percent who say it will be a signal of support for him. That’s a reversal from January, when 37 percent said their vote would be in support for the president, while 27 percent said it would be in opposition.

That said, Obama’s numbers here don’t compare to George W. Bush’s before the 2006 midterms, when 37 percent said their vote would be in opposition to Bush, versus 22 percent who said it would be in support.

The full poll -- which was conducted June 17-20 of 1,000 adults (200 by cell phone), and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points -- will be released at 6:30 pm ET.