Washington (CNN) - Eleven months out from the midterm elections, Republicans are slightly more optimistic than Democrats about their party's electoral prospects, according to a new national poll.
And a Pew Research Center/USA Today survey released Friday also indicates voters are roughly divided on whether they'd back the Democrat or Republican in their congressional district if the November 2014 elections were held today.
Fifty-five percent of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they expect their party to do better in the midterms than it's performed in recent elections, with a third saying it will do the same and just 5% saying the party will perform worse.
Democrats and independents who lean toward the party are less confident, with 43% saying the Democratic party will do better than in recent contests, with an equal amount saying the party will perform the same and 9% predicting things will be worse for the Democrats.
"But the 'expectations gap' is far more modest now than it was prior to the 2010 election, when Republicans were brimming with confidence, or 2006, when most Democrats anticipated a midterm victory," says a release from Pew Research.
Thanks to landslide victories, the Democrats won control of the House and Senate in the 2006 elections, with the GOP retaking the House and narrowing the Democrat's majority in the Senate in 2010 contests.
According to the poll, 53% of Republicans or GOP leaners say they're very enthusiastic about voting, compared to 47% of Democrats or Democratic leaners who feel the same way.
In the survey's generic ballot question, which asks respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates, the Democrats have a slight 48%-44% edge. Opinion is little changed from Pew's October survey.
That differs from a new Quinnipiac University and recent CNN/ORC International, and Fox News polls which indicated that the Democrats' advantage in September and early October on the 2014 generic ballot question had disappeared by November and early December. And a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, which asked which party would you like to see in control of Congress after the 2014 elections, also indicated that Democrats' recent polling advantage had evaporated.
The Democrats surge in the polls came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling. And the drop for the Democrats came after the extremely flawed rollout of the new federal health care law.
Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the House with the Democrats holding a 55-45 majority in the Senate.
While the generic ballot question is one of the most commonly used indicators when it comes to the battle for Congress, the poll results are a long way from predicting what will happen next November.
"There is just under a year to go before any votes are actually cast and the 'generic ballot' question is not necessarily a good predictor of the actual outcome of 435 separate elections," cautions CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.