Washington (CNN) - A year and a half before the 2014 midterm elections, Americans are divided on whether they'll back Democrats or Republicans in the battle for Congress, according to a new national poll.
A Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday indicates voters nationwide are split at 38% on whether they'd back the Democrat or GOP candidate if elections for all 435 members of the House of Representatives were held today. A fifth of those questioned were unsure.
The generic ballot question asks respondents if they would vote for a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district, without naming any specific candidates. It's used by many polling organization, including CNN/ORC International surveys.
In Quinnipiac's previous poll, released at the beginning of May, the Democrats had a slight 41%-37% edge in the generic ballot. An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in mid-May had the Democrats with a 48%-40% advantage.
In the new Quinnipiac survey, independent voters were leaning towards the Republican candidate by a 36%-23% margin, with one in three unsure.
Only three in ten say they approve of the job congressional Democrats are doing, with less than a quarter giving a thumbs up to Republicans in Congress.
The GOP currently has a 234-201 advantage in the House. The Democrats need to win back 17 seats next year to win back control of the chamber.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted May 22-28, with 1,419 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report