News & Politics

What Six Months of Anti-Trump Hysteria Has Gotten the Democrats

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in New York. The news conference was his first as President-elect. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The unprecedented vitriol and hate directed at Donald Trump over the last six months by Democrats and their admitted allies in the media has resulted in a great, big nothingburger.

An ABC poll out today shows that Democrats have a 9-point lead among likely voters as far as a midterm preference is concerned.

But more than half of voters say Trump will not be a factor in their vote for Congress. And only 24% say they will vote to oppose Trump, while 20% say they will vote to support him.

There is a Democratic preference: Among all surveyed adults, 53 percent say they’d prefer to see the Democrats take control of Congress “to act as a check on Trump,” versus 35 percent who’d like to see the GOP retain control “to support Trump’s agenda.” That said, among registered voters, it’s a 52-38 percent split, and among likely voters, 50-41 percent — the Democratic margin drawing in from 18 to 14 to 9 points as voting likelihood increases.

Moreover, 51 percent of polled registered voters say Trump won’t be a factor in their votes for Congress. The rest split closely between saying they’d vote to support Trump (20 percent) or to oppose him (24 percent) — a nonsignificant gap.

The division is narrower than in the past, further indicating no outsize impact of Trump’s unpopularity at this point. Before the 2014 midterms, surveyed registered voters said they’d cast their vote to oppose rather than support Barack Obama by a 10-point margin, and the gap against George W. Bush was 14 points in November 2006, compared with the scant 4-point difference today.

Neither side has a meaningful edge in enthusiasm: 84 percent of anti-Trump registered voters polled say it’s extremely or very important to them to vote to oppose him the midterms, and 82 percent of pro-Trump registered voters are as strongly committed to supporting him.

There’s also little difference between potential new midterm voters — those who say they’ll vote in 2018 but didn’t in 2014 — and off-year veterans. A fifth of surveyed potential new voters say they’d vote to support Trump, while 28 percent say they’d vote to oppose him; it’s 22 and 24 percent, respectively, among registered return voters.

Naturally, intention to vote to support Trump peaks among those in his party in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Fifty-two percent of registered Republicans say they’ll vote to back up the president, while a smaller share of registered Democrats, 41 percent, say they’ll vote to oppose him. Independents, for their part, are most likely to say Trump won’t be a factor in their vote: 62 percent. Among the rest, slightly more are in opposition than in support, 22 versus 13 percent.

Those numbers are hammer blows against the Democratic strategy of scaring the daylights out of voters about Trump, hoping that will drive them to the polls to support “the resistance.”

Earth to Dems: It’s not working. And if you keep it up, you better start worrying about a backlash.

It appears that the normal trends that take place in an off-year election may hold: The party that holds the White House will lose some seats in Congress, but not enough for Republicans to lose control. It also appears that there is a lack of enthusiasm for Democrats as much as for Republicans.

There is currently no groundswell to “throw the bums out” nor is there an indication that huge numbers of new Democratic voters will appear to propel the Democrats to victory.

Yes, but at least all this screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth about Trump makes liberals feel better about losing.