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Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan are guiding their parties into a competitive midterm election. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats' advantage over Republicans has slipped from a +12 to a +4 advantage in just three months, per a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.

The big picture: Several factors have led to this shift. President Trump's approval rating has increased slightly to 40% since January; enthusiasm is now at equal numbers among Republican and Democratic voters (68%); those who think it's "extremely" important for a candidate to share their opinion of Nancy Pelosi favor Republicans by 16%; and voters who consider gun policy the top issue are split nearly equal.

Why this matters: Democrats are increasingly feeling more certain that they'll take control of the House come November, but this poll shows the important factors that could shift the results between now and then.

By the numbers:

  • 58% of adults say they will vote, but only 40% of voters under 30 say the same. Fewer African-American voters (54%) and Hispanics (39%) say they'll vote, compared to white voters (64%).
  • Pelosi might not be the election issue Republicans are banking on. Although 70% of Republican voters view her unfavorably, 60% of voters don't consider a candidate's stance on the House Minority Leader important.
  • Democrats are hoping strong turnout among women voters will help them. 56% of women surveyed are planning to vote and 55% of registered female voters favor Democratic candidates.
  • 75% of voters who want new gun laws support Democrats, while 80% who prioritize protecting gun rights support Republicans. The group that views gun control as the top issue is split, with 47% supporting Democrats and 46% favoring Republicans.

Be smart: There will be countless polls leading up to the 2018 election tracking these small movements among voters. Look for how specific issues (like tax reform and gun control) are shifting things for each party and how the candidates are adjusting their campaigns to reflect that.

Go deeper

Wall Street braces for more turbulence ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.

Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.