But buried in the Journal/NBC poll is a contradictory nugget: Registered voters, by a 47 percent to 41 percent spread, would rather have Republicans in charge of Congress. That’s the highest level of preference for Republican control since the question was first posed 15 years ago. At a time when the White House is fond of the mantra that an election is “a choice, not a referendum,” it appears that voters aren’t ready to choose Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi over Speaker John Boehner.

The POLITICO/George Washington poll puts Pelosi’s favorable/unfavorable rating at 29 percent to 52 percent, while House Speaker John Boehner has a much closer 27 percent to 31 percent gap.

And generic vote testing, which historically favors Democrats, is about even: Democrats led 41 percent to 40 percent, including respondents who leaned in one direction or the other, according to the POLITICO/GWU poll.