In a sign that Republican efforts to target the youth vote is paying off, a new poll finds a majority of young Americans who intend to vote next week prefer a Republican-controlled Congress.

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A survey released yesterday by Harvard Institute of Politics shows that of those age 18 to 29 who say they “definitely” will vote in the midterm elections Tuesday, 51 percent want Congress in GOP hands, compared to 47 percent who would rather have Democrats in charge.

Among all young people surveyed — whether they planned to vote or not — Democrats still held an edge, 50 percent to 43 percent.

Democrats have depended on the youth vote in past elections, and Republicans this year have made it a strategy to close the gap with millennials.

Republicans are seen as having a good shot at wresting control of the Senate from Democrats as well as increasing their majority in the House.

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An Institute of Politics poll taken before the midterm elections in 2010 revealed that 55 percent of young likely voters preferred Democrats to lead Congress, compared to 43 percent who wanted Republicans.

The new survey questioned 2,029 voters age 18 to 29 between Sept. 26 and Oct. 9. It has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.