New Poll Sends GOP Into Panic Mode As Longtime Voters Abandon Party To Join Dems Over Trump
A new poll just revealed a huge red flag for Republicans, who are heading into the holiday season with a daunting number hanging over their heads — 10.7 percent.
According to the most recent RealClearPolitics average of available polling, Democrats lead their Republican rivals by 10.7 percent on the generic congressional ballot. That mark is the highest the RCP’s average has gone since just before the 2010 elections, where Republicans netted 63 House seats.
It’s a gloomy sign for Republicans, and one that dovetails with President Trump’s sagging approval rating to boost Democratic optimism about taking the House and raises questions about whether Republicans will be able to take advantage of Democratic weakness on the Senate map.
The failures and petty squabbles of the new president are already having an impact on voters, causing Republicans to be concerned how much damage he can do to the party before the 2018 midterms.
“It’s always stupid to make firm predictions in anything, whether it be politics or the Super Bowl. But it seems clear we are heading in a bad direction” said former Republican National Committee spokesman Doug Heye.
“What we’ve seen so far this year that the constant is massive Trump unpopularity, a growing unpopularity, and we are starting to see that electorally. Knowing there’s never going to be a Donald Trump pivot in any sense, what would tell us that anything in this midterm is different?”
Democrats are pointing to promising results from the off-year elections earlier this month as a promising sign for 2018.
A resounding win by the Democrat in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, as well as strong showings among suburban voters, topped the headlines. But there was more promise down the ballot in other states, too.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats cleaned up in most of the “collar counties” that make up the Philadelphia suburbs. Voters elected Democrats to serve on the Delaware County council for the first time since 1980. Democrats saw similar success in other nearby counties like Chester County, and local Democratic candidates specifically pointed to Trump as one reason for their success. Most of those suburbs are represented by Republicans.
In Virginia, Chesterfield County backed a Democrat for governor for the first time since 1961 and the GOP is looking for answers to stop the bleeding in a county that is seeing more women voters going to the polls in the age of Trump.
“That’s a huge red flag for Republicans and an opportunity for Democrats,” explained Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist. “There’s opportunity in these traditionally conservative suburbs with college-educated white voters who are unwilling to back a Republican candidate. It’s a function of and proof that Trump has tainted the rest of the Republicans running for office.”
In Maine, voters in the more conservative second congressional district — home to Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) — overwhelmingly backed a state ballot question on expanding Medicaid, amid the protests from Republicans.
“The down-ballot races are more instructive for what’s coming in the House,” said Charlie Kelly, the executive director of the House Majority PAC, which works to boost Democrats in House races.
“They sent a pretty loud message two weeks ago, and I anticipate that will continue.”
Heye specifically pointed to some of those results as worrisome for Republicans like him.
“In the legislative races where people don’t necessarily know who they are voting for — they just vote Republican or Democrat, which makes it a semi-generic ballot — we got our clocks cleaned,” he said.
Democrats have used both GOP legislative pushes to accuse Republicans of taking the side of big business and the wealthy over the little guy.
“The enthusiasm, surge in participation, and increased activism, a lot of it is its a real rejection of the Trump and Paul Ryan policies that are really toxic,” Kelly said.
“From healthcare to taxes, these are pocketbook issues that are easy to understand and there is no other explanation but people are fed up and tired of this stuff.”