As we sit on the edge of April headed into 2018 crunch time, those in the media promising a massive blue wave (Texas primaries anyone?) come November will be forced to contend with data that suggests that this blue wave is nothing more than an over-hyped trickle.


Monday, a CNN poll showed Trump’s approval rating (by their metrics) is at its highest since he first took office. General opinion of Republicans too is on the up and up. Voters are particularly keen on Trump’s handling of the economy. Because as we’ve learned, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

Overall, 42% approve of the way Trump is handling the presidency, 54% disapprove. Approval is up 7 points overall since February, including 6-point increases among Republicans (from 80% to 86% now) and independents (from 35% to 41% now). Trump’s approval rating remains below that of all of his modern-era predecessors at this stage in their first term after being elected, though Trump only trails Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama by a narrow 4 points at this point in their first terms.

Trump’s approval ratings have seesawed over the last four CNN polls — from 35% in December up to 40% in January, down to 35% in February and back up to 42% now. Looking at intensity of approval, however, the share who strongly approve of Trump’s performance (28% in the new poll) and strongly disapprove (46%) have held relatively steady over a similar time frame, suggesting the fluctuation in Trump’s ratings comes largely among those whose views on the President aren’t that deeply held.

The President’s strongest approval ratings on the issues come on the economy, the only issue tested where his reviews tilt more positive than negative: 48% approve and 45% disapprove. That isn’t the case on foreign trade, however, the economic issue on which Trump has most recently taken action, implementing tariffs aimed at Chinese imports, steel and aluminum. On trade generally, 38% approve of the President’s work while 50% disapprove.

Meanwhile, a report released by the Brennan Center for Justice throws some serious shade at the blue wave wish-casting. According to that report, Democrats would have to, “to win the national popular vote for congressional districts by a nearly 11 percentage point margin over Republicans to gain more than the roughly two dozen seats they need to flip control of the Republican-led chamber,” according to the AP. No such feat has been achieved in the last 40 years.

Democrats are blaming Republican gerrymandering, but excuses don’t win elections.

From the AP:

The report projects that Democrats would need to win the national popular vote for congressional districts by a nearly 11 percentage point margin over Republicans to gain more than the roughly two dozen seats they need to flip control of the Republican-led chamber.

That would take more than the typical Democratic wave that history suggests would occur for the party out of power during a midterm election.

“It would be the equivalent of a tsunami,” said Michael Li, a senior counsel who heads up redistricting work for the center, which is based at New York University School of Law. “Democrats would have to win larger than any sort of recent midterm wave — almost double what they got in 2006 — in order to win a narrow majority.”

The Brennan Center opposes what it calls “extreme gerrymandering” in which political parties draw legislative districts that virtually ensure they will hold on to power.

The center has filed a court brief in a case to be heard Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a lawsuit by Republicans alleging that Maryland’s former Democratic governor and legislature unconstitutionally gerrymandered a congressional district to their advantage.

It also has filed court briefs supporting Democratic lawsuits alleging unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering by Republicans in states such as Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The center’s analysis notes that Democrats gained 31 seats when they won the national congressional vote by 5.4 percentage points in 2006. Yet under the current districts, which were redrawn after the 2010 Census under GOP control of many state capitols, a similar national victory margin in the November election is projected to net Democrats only about a dozen new seats.

“About a dozen new seats.” Democrats need at least 24 seats to claim a majority in the House.

The math is not favoring Democrats here:

The report projects that a 10 percentage point national margin would gain 21 seats for Democrats — still shy of the 23 or 24 needed to claim a House majority. An 11-point margin is projected to gain 28 seats for Democrats, but they haven’t achieved such a large midterm victory since a nearly 14 point margin gained them 49 seats in 1974.

Add to this number cocktail the fact that Democrats are doubling down on the gun control narrative over an incident (the Florida school shooting) that just about everyone understands had nothing to do with gun laws and everything to do with government ineptitude. Not to mention the American public that lives between the coasts…which the press always forgets about, misinterprets, and misunderstands.

Democrats (and their media counterparts) have tried to make every single election since Trump’s inauguration a referendum on Trump, reading into the tea leaves what they want to see.

As a result, public opinion for both Trump and Republicans would have to absolutely tank for any blue wave to have a chance of cresting in the 2018 cycle. If the economy keeps growing stronger and Trump continues to work down is campaign promise list, the much-touted blue wave may very well be little more than a ripple.