The poll, conducted on behalf of NPR by Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and GOP firm Resurgent Republic, produced two different pieces of analysis.
As Resurgent sees it, the survey is bursting with good news for the GOP.
There's history that's working against Democrats.
"The midterm election in the sixth year of a president's term has been bad news for the party controlling the White House for a century, and this year looks like no exception," the pollsters wrote,
There's President Obama.
Resurgent wrote that "Obama fatigue weighs on all Democratic candidates up and down the ballot," describing it as the "new normal" for a majority to disapprove of the president.
And then there's Obamacare.
For the first time in NPR's polling, "a majority of voters disapproves of the health care law, 51 to 47 percent."
All of it points to a GOP "midterm wave." Resurgent said Republicans likely won't match 2010's 63-seat pickup in the House, but "chances are better than even that they will take control of the Senate and add to their majority in the House in 2014."
The Democratic pollsters, working with the same numbers, saw things a bit differently, and they urged the "the political class to re-examine its assumptions about The Affordable Care Act and about this being a Republican year."
Too many people, they say, misinterpret public opinion on Obamacare.
"Among likely voters who say they oppose the law, 7 percent do so because it does not go far enough—this is especially concentrated among minorities," read the poll's analysis at Democracy Corps. "Only about 45 percent of the electorate is really opposed because it represents big government."
The Republican brand "remains toxic," with 72 percent of likely voters disapproving of the GOP-controlled House.
This post has been updated to include each pollster's analysis.