A few months ago, Democrats had a commanding lead in a number of polls and talks of a Blue Wave had the GOP rattled. But a lot has happened these few months. A series of missteps, unforced errors, and flat out embarrassments and three weeks before the midterm elections, polls are skewing red.
Christine Blasey Ford was the October surprise that backfired and then blew up in a blaze of glory, while simultaneously doing the impossible — uniting the furthest regions of the right with the so called “establishment” who was leading the charge in ensuring Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
CNBC released a poll Tuesday openly questioning the likelihood of a Blue Wave. When you’ve lost NBC…
Mind you, NBC was the network that ran with an anonymous letter, reporting it as though a fourth Kavanaugh accuser had come forward, they interviewed Julie Swetnick, whose claims against Kavanaugh were hilariously debunked, and touted text messages (which they did not publish) between Ford’s associates as proof that Kavanaugh lied.
But back to the poll. Thanks to a strong economy, Democrats are highly unlikely to claim massive victory in three weeks.
With economic optimism soaring in the country, will Democrats be able to sweep to power in either house of Congress or will buoyant sentiment help Republicans keep hold of their Congressional majorities?
The latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey offers mixed signals, but leans against a wave Democratic election like that those that swept Republicans to power in 2010 and 2014.
The poll of 800 Americans across the country, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent, found a six-point Democratic lead on the question of who voters will choose in the November congressional elections. The 42 percent to 36 percent margin is not far from what pollsters would expect given the greater percentage of Democratic registered voters.
“A six point differential is not something that’s going to cause a big electoral wave,” said Micah Roberts, the Republican pollster on the CNBC poll, a partner Public Opinion Strategies. “Economic confidence that people have among a lot of groups is providing a buffer” for Republicans.
Indeed, the poll found that 48 percent of the public is optimistic about the current economy and optimistic it will get better, the highest level in the poll’s 11-year history and more than double the 20 percent registered in the December 2016 survey. The poll, conducted Oct. 4th through the 7th, shows 83 percent of Republicans are optimistic but also 22 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Independent voters.
To be sure, control of Congress is often decided by the sum of local issues and candidates rather than national sentiment. And this time, several special factors could have a big effect: including more open GOP seats, greater Democratic enthusiasm and millions of dollars of outside money flowing into contested seats. And a lot can change in the remaining weeks before the vote.
Still, Jay Campbell, the Democratic pollster for the survey and a partner with Hart Research Associates, is skeptical of a wave for the Democrats, saying the six-point advantage is “not enough to suggest this is going to be a massive wave election a la 2010.” Campbell did add that the survey found a large 17 percent of undecided voters who will be critical to the outcome.
Like many polls conducted for the 2016 elections, much methodology doesn’t consider shifting voting base.
In 2016, a substantial number of people, not youngsters, but middle-aged voters, showed up to vote for Trump. Many had never voted in an election before or hadn’t voted in decades. Those individuals were never considered in polling. Not to mention the number of Trump supporters who hesitate to express publicly their support for fear of retribution.
None of this is to say that the GOP can rest on its laurels headed into midterms, but barring some massive shift in political climate, Democrats may make electoral gains, but they’re likely to be much smaller than anticipated.DONATE
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