Voters say they prefer Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives over Republicans by the widest margin in over a decade, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll — a fresh sign of trouble for the GOP majority one year before the midterm elections.
But Democrats’ effort to convert widespread disapproval of President Trump into victories in 2018 could be undercut by lower turnout, with Republicans expressing just as much motivation to vote in next year’s elections.
A slim 51 percent majority of registered voters say that if the election were held today, they would vote for or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, while 40 percent say they would choose the Republican.
That’s the biggest spread in a Post-ABC survey since October 2006, just weeks before a midterm in which Democrats won back control of the House and Senate amid deep dissatisfaction with then-President George W. Bush and the Iraq War.
In recent history, regardless of the political climate, Democrats have tended to hold an advantage on this “generic ballot” question, which does not name specific candidates. On the eve of the 2014 and 2010 midterms, both banner elections for the GOP, Post-ABC surveys found Republicans trailed Democrats by three and five percentage points among registered voters, respectively. Those margins flipped in Republicans’ favor among the smaller population of likely voters who were more motivated to turn out. The latest Post-ABC survey does not measure likely voters given that the election is still a year away.
Still, an edge of 11 points, even among registered voters, is an encouraging sign for Democrats a year before Trump’s first midterm — an election cycle that historically has been unkind to the sitting president’s party.
The findings come as congressional Republicans are trying to rehabilitate their brand after months of infighting and a failure to produce any major legislative achievements despite controlling the House, Senate and White House.
Sadly, an eleven-point lead is pretty much what we need to start to be competitive in House races given the GOP's massive advantage in midterm turnout, gerrymandering, and voter suppression..and that's just to get us to the point where we can talk about maybe taking the House back. The reality is that it would take something like a 14- or 15-point generic ballot lead to get us up to a 50-50 proposition or so.
It's not impossible, but it would take far more turnout than we've seen in 2010 or the abysmally low 2014 to get it done, and the Trumpista cult will definitely be out to vote.
We've got to turn people out to vote. Another 2014-level performance and the GOP will end up with the 34 state legislatures they need to call a Constitutional Convention, something they've long wanted to do.
Tomorrow is just as important, by the way. An Ed Gillespie win in Virginia would give the GOP complete control of 27 states and gerrymandering rights in Richmond, and should they get currently split Colorado or Maine in 2018 on top of that, it's over.
And then everything goes straight to hell.