This year’s midterms are huge for both parties. A newly-released Fox News poll shows the GOP making gains in their voter preference poll.  If true, this is exceptionally good news not just for the GOP but for the president.

Fox News reports:

The latest Fox News poll finds a tightening race when voters are asked their candidate preference in this fall’s congressional election.

That’s good news for Republicans because Democrats were up by 15 points in October (50-35 percent) in the so-called generic ballot test. Now, it’s a 5-point edge, as 46 percent of voters would back the Democratic candidate in their district and 41 percent the Republican.

“Just winning the popular national vote is not enough to flip the House,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “Given the GOP’s districting advantages, data from 2012 and 2014 show the Democrats need an edge of at least five points to bring the majority into play.”

Democrat pollster Chris Anderson cautions that polls are not as predictive this far out in midterm election years.

Fox News continues:

“I like this question as a gauge of perceptions month to month,” says Anderson. “But its predictive power seven months from the election is dubious.”

Anderson points out that in March of 2014, Democrats had a 2-point edge on the vote question and Republicans ultimately picked up 13 House seats that November. And in March 2010, Republicans had a 4-point advantage and went on to win 63 seats.

Charles Cook notes that the mood among Congressional Republicans is grim and that it looks like likely the GOP will lose the House in November.

The Cook Political Report notes:

On and off the Hill, Republicans are now settling into the new normal of their 2018 midterm-election plight. Unemployment and inflation are both low, consumer confidence is high, and GDP growth for this quarter is expected to come in around 2.5 percent—although it should be noted that the U.S. economy is growing pretty much at the same pace as the rest of the world in what economists call synchronized global growth.

Despite those favorable indicators, Trump’s approval ratings remain at historically and toxically low numbers and his party is heading into a very challenging midterm-election campaign. At least today, it looks fairly likely Republicans will lose their House majority, while there is enormous uncertainty about how their 51-49 Senate majority will fare.

Though Cook notes President Trump’s “historically and toxically low numbers,” it is worth pointing out that the Wall Street Journal reports that Trump’s job approval numbers are climbing . . . even as Democrats regain a double-digit lead in their NBC/WSJ voter sentiment poll.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week:

Democrats have regained a double-digit advantage over Republicans on which party voters want to control Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, while at the same time President Donald Trump’s job approval has improved, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.

Asked which party should control Congress, registered voters picked Democrats 50% to 40%, the second time in three months the party claimed a double-digit advantage.

“This is not an environment where Republicans are going to have any national advantage,” said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who conducted the survey with Democrat Fred Yang.  “They are going to have to dig in and work against the national environment to figure out how to win a campaign.”

The GOP lost ground in the past two months even though Americans adopted a more favorable view of how Mr. Trump is handling his job. Some 43% approved of his job performance, compared with 39% in January.

Traditional factors will play a role in this year’s midterms.  Enthusiasm, for example, is up among Democrats, but Republicans historically turn out for midterm elections in more reliable and larger numbers.

A worrying number, however, is the WSJ’s polling of Independents who are breaking for a Democrat-controlled Congress.

The Wall Street Journal continues:

The question of which party should control Congress has sometimes foreshadowed the election outcome. But for Democrats, only a large lead on the question, such as a double-digit advantage, has tended to correspond to electoral gains, while Republicans have made gains in years when they have had only a small lead on the question. That is because Republican voter groups often vote more reliably in midterms than do Democratic groups, and because House district lines often favor Republicans.

The new poll’s finding of a 10-point Democratic advantage shows eroding support among independents, who break for a Democratic Congress by a double digit margin, 48%-36%.

Even among voters in Republican-held congressional seats, the parties are dead even on the question of which party should control Congress. That is the lowest “home court” advantage for the GOP since at least 2010.

President Trump needs to retain the House and gain seats in the Senate (to provide a cushion against unreliable GOP Senators who side with Democrats).

The prof cautioned yesterday about the damage a Democrat-controlled government will do:

#TheResistance is not your grandfather’s or even father’s Democrat Party. If 2018 and 2020 Resistance Democrats take control of government combined with weaponized corporations, the Obama years of *mere* IRS harassment and politicized DOJ will seem like the good old days.

If you let the eeyores and concern trolls drive the agenda, then prepare for much worse to come.

You don’t have to imagine a Hillary administration with a Democrat-controlled Congress to comprehend the damage; instead, just imagine if the Democrats had control of Congress during these first two years of Trump’s presidency.


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