Democrats always have an advantage in the generic ballot and the polls are often geared in favor of Democrats. And historically the party not in power tends to be favored. So as things were heading toward the midterms, it had been looking good for them. Until this week, where the collapse for the Democrats in the generic ballot spells trouble for them.
From Fox News:
New polling shows that Democrats have lost their recent 15-point lead over Republicans, dropping to only a two-point lead for a critical election they had hoped to paint as a referendum on President Trump and writ large, Republicans.
However, historically speaking, the news is more daunting for Democrats. Compared to where they stood in the 2014 midterm elections, Democrats are actually faring worse at this point than they were then.
In the 2014 midterms, Democrats were ahead on the generic ballot by an impressive eight points most of the year. However their lead eventually vanished, and Republicans ultimately trounced them at the ballot box, retook the U.S. Senate and won a big majority of seats in the House of Representatives.
By comparison, Democrats’ current poll numbers also rate worse than their generic ballot ranking in the 2010 midterms.
In the 2010 contest, Democrats were ahead of Republicans by a whopping 12 points heading into the midterm year. However, Republicans pulled ahead slightly in February 2010, only to cede ground to Democrats in the summer months. Ultimately, Republicans ended up winning back control of the House and taking back the gavel from then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
But that’s not even the worst of it.
While the polling shows they have collapsed to just a two-point lead, Nate Silver says they may not even have those two points.
Five Thirty Eight’s Nate Silver explained a couple of years ago that Democrats blew their lead in 2014 even though the generic ballot polling was prejudiced nearly four points in their favor. In fact, Silver found that 2010 midterm generic ballot polling was skewed in favor of Democrats as well, with much the same result (they lost).
So one has to presume that the same polls, run by the same mainstream media outlets, remain skewed, especially considering how badly the polls underestimated support for Donald Trump and missed the mark in 2016.
Therefore, if Democrats are only two points ahead on the generic ballot and if Silver’s assessment of a four-point skew in favor of Democrats is accurate (and it was in 2014), it’s fair to suggest that Republicans are actually up by two points.
That’s a 13 point drop in a month. That doesn’t bode well for them.
Why has it dropped so much?
Several very good reasons.
First, by passing the American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Republicans in Congress not only delivered on their promise of tax cuts for the American people, they ignited a wave of bonuses and pay hikes for 3 million American workers thus far (spoiler alert: many more announcements are expected soon.)
Second, Republicans won the government shutdown fight when they quickly coined the term #SchumerShutdown, exposing Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and his fellow Democrats as they attempted to further use DACA “Dreamers” as pawns in an unrelated budget deal.
Third, Republicans no doubt experienced a “Trump bump” after President Trump impressed the nation with a heartfelt State of the Union address. Using a tapestry of personal stories from heroes, victim’s families and survivors, the president did what he does best – he sold American exceptionalism.
Trump has bumped up 10 points in popularity as well, despite the constant attack from the media and the left.
And the numbers are just banging.
With a 17-year high in consumer confidence, 17-year low in unemployment (along with the lowest African-American unemployment rate since measurements began in 1972), a 17-year low in illegal border crossings, the fastest return of manufacturing jobs in 13 years, and so much more, American voters are taking note. Democrats have a tough challenge to find something concrete upon which to critique this president, other than simply his brash style.
Now there’s still sometime before the midterms, but it’s closing fast. So things can change.
But Democrats still have no clear message. And standing on behalf of illegal aliens for eight hours instead of for Americans for thirty seconds isn’t going to endear Americans most voters to you. Right now, that’s what people perceive their message to be.
And that’s good for Republicans.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]