A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Democrats regaining a double-digit lead in the generic congressional ballot.
Fifty percent of respondents favor a Congress controlled by Democrats, while only 40% prefer Republican control.
The Hill reports, “The poll also finds that 60 percent of Democratic voters say they have a ‘high degree’ of interest regarding the 2018 midterm elections. Among those who voted for Hillary Clinton, 64 percent say they have high interest in the upcoming midterm elections.”
This really isn’t surprising. Democrats have held a 5-10 point lead since the beginning of this year.
According to the report, the “enthusiasm gap” is not as wide as the numbers might suggest. “Fifty-four percent of Republicans feel the same way, according to the poll. A slightly higher percentage of those who voted for President Trump, 57 percent, say they have a high degree of interest in the upcoming midterms,” according to The Hill.
When Trump’s approval was near 50% after passage of the tax cut bill, the lead by Democrats was halved. Clearly, Trump’s influence on Republicans will almost certainly determine the outcome of the midterms. His popularity could translate into a larger turnout of GOP voters, making the Democrats’ task that much harder.
We’re still 8 months out from the election and many things can turn those numbers around. A Trump-Kim summit will almost certainly boost the president’s popularity even if nothing much is accomplished. And how about another Supreme Court pick for Trump? That might goose turnout a bit.
The only real value of a “generic ballot” is an indication of how voters feel at a certain time. It’s not a good predictor of the future either because there will be 535 House races and 33 statewide Senate contests with all sorts of variables to consider.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that, as things stand now, Republicans are in trouble and are threatened with the loss of the House. Democrats have the wind at their back at the moment. But they are far from shoo-ins and party infighting between liberals and radicals might yet force their ship onto the shoals.