A close look at what today's ABC/Washington Post and NBC/Wall Street Journal polls say.

ABC says that generally the Democrats maintain an advantage but the gap has narrowed from mid-year.

RATING TRUMP

ABC/WP Approval: 40 per cent
NBC/WSJ Approval: 46 per cent

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In the ABC/WP poll, a majority of likely voters, 59 per cent, say it's important to them to vote for a candidate who shares their opinion of President Donald Trump. At the same stage of their terms, presidents Obama, Clinton, Reagan and Carter all rated between 8 to 10 points higher. They lost between 15 to 63 seats.

In the NBC/WSJ poll 40 per cent say their vote will be a signal of opposition to Trump, compared with 32 per cent who say it will be a signal of support. A further 28 per cent say it will not be a signal either way.

PARTY FAVOURED IN HOUSE CANDIDATES

ABC/WP:
Democrats: 52 per cent
Republicans: 44 per cent

PREFERENCE OF LIKELY VOTERS

NBC/WSJ:
Democrats: 50
Republicans: 43

Preference by group

NBC WSJ:
Democrats: African-Americans, 84 per cent; white women with college degrees, 61 per cent; Hispanics, 57 per cent; 18 to 34-year-olds, 57 per cent; whites with a college degree, 56 per cent; women, 55 per cent.

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Republicans: White men without college degrees, 65 per cent; whites with no college degree, 60 per cent; white women without college degrees, 54 per cent; 50 to 64-year-olds, 52 per cent; men, 50 per cent; whites, 50 per cent.

The fact that the Democrats lead in the generic ballot, comes with a important caveat. The ABC/WP poll notes that views of Democrats vary greatly between safe seats where most Democratic voters live, to swing states. In districts rated solid or likely Democrat, the party's candidates lead by 67 to 29 per cent. In comparable Republican areas it is a 58 to 35 per cent GOP lead. But in leaning or toss-up districts it is much closer: A Democratic lead of 49 to 44 per cent.

VOTE: INTENTION

ABC/WP:
Registered voters 80 per cent (65 per cent at this point in 2014, 71 per cent in 2010)

Voter level of interest

NBC/WSJ
Registered voters, 70 per cent (61 per cent in 2006 and 2010)

VOTE: GROUPS

The ABC/WP poll notes that enthusiasm to vote is unusually high among Democratic groups. Three-quarters of non-whites say they are certain to vote compared to 49 per cent at this point in 2014. The poll says 69 per cent of registered voters aged 18 to 39 say they will vote (44 per cent in 2014). Intention to vote is up 24 per cent among liberals, 18 per cent among moderates.

In comparison it is up 6 per cent among conservatives, up 9 per cent among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents. But of 14 per cent of registered voters who voted early, the split was 49-49 per cent. Republicans have leads among non-college white men (+ 39 points) and rural residents (+ 33 points).

Independents

ABC/WP:
Democrats 48 per cent
Republicans 41 per cent
NBC/WSJ
Democrats 35 per cent
Republicans 23 per cent

ISSUES: MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN VOTE

ABC/WP:
1) Healthcare: 78 per cent
2) Economy: 76 per cent
3) Reducing divisions: 69 per cent
4) Immigration: 67 per cent
5) Taxes: 66 per cent
6) Border security: 59 per cent
7) Global warming: 48 per cent

ISSUES: BEST PARTY AT HANDLING

ABC/WP:
-Healthcare
Democrats 50 per cent
Republicans 34 per cent

-Economy
Republicans 48 per cent
Democrats 39 per cent

-Reducing divisions
Democrats 46 per cent
Republicans 31 per cent

-Immigration
Democrats 47 per cent
Republicans 42 per cent

-Taxes
Republicans 45 per cent
Democrats 41 per cent

-Border security
Republicans 49 per cent
Democrats 39 per cent

-Global warming
Democrats 56 per cent
Republicans 24 per cent

DESIRE FOR CHANGE

The NBC/WSJ poll showed 59 per cent of registered voters say they want a "great deal" or "quite a bit" of change in direction from the way Trump has been leading the country, versus 38 per cent who want no change, not that much change or just some change.

That desire for change is despite 68 per cent who say they're "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with the state of the economy, and the 74 per cent who are satisfied with their own financial situation.