Democrats Hold Double-Digit Lead In 2018 Generic Ballot

There may still be time to avert an electoral disaster in 2018, but time is running out.

Coming on the heels of the loss of Luther Strange’s Alabama
Senate seat to Democrat Doug Jones, there is more bad news for Republicans. A poll
that measures the generic approval of the two parties now shows Republicans
with a 14-point deficit. The Monmouth
University
poll is the latest sign that a Democrat
wave
is building for 2018.

Other surveys of generic ballot preferences over the past
few months have yielded similar results with some surveys showing Democrat
support at or above 50 percent. A FiveThirtyEight
roundup of generic ballot polls showed that Democrats lead by 11 points on
average.

In the past, generic ballot polling has been a leading
indicator of performance in midterm elections. In 2010, Republicans held a 10-point
lead in generic ballot
polling just prior to their takeover of the House of
Representatives. The pattern repeated in 2014 when Republicans were favored by
about five
points
. In contrast, Democrats lead by 12
points
prior to the wave election of 2008.

The generic ballot is not a fait accompli. Democrats still
have to recruit candidates and mount successful campaigns to unseat
Republicans, but the polling does represent a disadvantage for the GOP. Republicans
may be able to stem the tide by acting now to shore up approval.

The problem for Republicans is that there are very few
avenues toward better approval ratings in the 11 months left before the
election. The GOP has not been able to pass any significant legislation in
spite of holding both houses of Congress and the presidency.

The party is currently pinning its hopes on tax reform, but
voters disapprove of the bill by almost a two-to-one
margin
. The situation is reminiscent of Democrats ramming through the
unpopular Affordable Care Act in the hopes that it would become more popular
after it passed. Ironically, after costing the Democrats both houses of
Congress and the White House, Obamacare did become more popular. In the summer
of 2017, Obamacare
was more popular
than failed Republican attempts to repeal it.

The easiest way for Republicans to stop their falling
approval is to rein in President Trump, although this is easier said than done.
The same Monmouth
poll shows Trump at 32 percent approval with 56 percent disapproving. This is
close to, but slightly below, the average of polling on FiveThirtyEight.

The average loss of congressional seats by a president with
an approval rating below is 50 percent is 36
seats
. If Republicans don’t do much better than average next year, the
Democrats will take control of the House.

While many economic indicators are good, unforced errors and
distractions by the president are hurting the GOP. If President Trump’s
behavior could be moderated, say by locking him out of Twitter, the party would
undoubtedly benefit.

A second hint for Republicans is that the nation at large
and the Republican base are very different. Candidates and policies that please
the base, Roy
Moore
for example, are often unpopular with the rest of the country. The
GOP should consider moderate and independent voters when nominating candidates
this spring. It should also sell it policies to public before enacting them so
it isn’t placed in the position of voting for unpopular bills as was the case
with both tax reform and health care reform.

Polling shows that Republicans are in danger of repeating
history. There may still be time to avert an electoral disaster in 2018, but
time is running out. Republicans have to act now to reverse their sagging
approval rating, but many have not even acknowledged that there is a problem.

Comments
No. 1-11
MarkBerwind
MarkBerwind

If the Congress and the Republican neverTrumpers would get over their TDS, currently they are like Democrats, and pushed that Congress to work together with the President and get the right legislation passed, it might make for better results, even against some fudged polling, but it would produce results absolutely in upcoming elections. Oh, by the way. where are the accusers against Moore? Why aren't they still complaining about all the atrocities he "allegedly did", all those years ago? Or were you people all caught up in being bamboozled, once again? That may tick off some of you, but you have to one day come to the realization that this game of charades I call the War on Men, with all the "Charges" of sexual harrassment is all a game to those who would gladly sacrifice their own at the altar of Woodrow Wilson just to get at one person, Donald Trump. I saw a lot of "Oh, the blasphemy!" coming from people who will fall for it again because they let it slip that they will allow anything to become the truth, as long as it is settled by they and "Their" God and, instead, let gossip be the rule. I'm sure there is something in the Bible about false prophets. You just got had from a false prophet, namely Gloria Allred and the Democrat Party. Apparently it isn't the same one I pray to, because God isn't supposed to be a crutch when you refuse to allow that since man is a sinner, to begin with, there may be something else at play. When we wipe off the dust and make Congress do the work it is supposed to do, instead of our side, which is still the majority in both bodies, not go against the President, and you sorry people who continue to want to allow a coup to take place because of petty attitudes someone elected, we might start winning elections. The sad part is that I think we will win them without you, and the war against Trump will only continue. You don't like what he said during the campaign? Fine. That was then, this is now. Get over it! Trump, on his own, has done all he can do. It's time to make the system work before Democrats win enough for all of this to become moot.

etbass
etbass

The problem isn't picking conservative candidates instead of moderate and independent candidates. It is about picking good candidates. We tried in Alabama, but McConnell spent $30 million to try and elect a crooked puppet, lie and slander Mo Brooks, and it resulted in Roy Moore a the nominee. Strange was a terrible candidate too. He couldn't win the primary against Roy Moore as an incumbent, all the GOP leadership with him, Trump's support and $30 million. That's attrociously weak.

If we have to elected moderates to win, what's the point? We see how they won't do anything worthwhile. If that's the solution, I'm out. We need good candidates that are conservatives. When we do find them, the GOP leadership tries to destroy them. McConnell has to go.

NWRED
NWRED

Define the Democrat in the poll. Hillary Democrats or Sanders Democrats. Establishment anti-Trump Republicans or Tea Party, conservatives, freedom caucus Republicans? Congress viewed as doing the best for the country or just obstructionist? Too many primary candidates to split the vote,. House district boundaries will not change until after the 2020 election. The Democrats have 25 seats to defend to eight for the Republicans. The Republicans won all special elections until the sex card in Alabama? The electoral college provides some protection from fraud' One county or city can be loaded to carry a senate race or state wide race. That could be the reason between the house and the senate. Polls can be manipulated by accident or on purpose. How will all the investigations play out before the November 2018 play out? The largest challenge will be to get the message out and keeping the elections free of fraud.

Cbkitys
Cbkitys

This country has been moving left ever since Reagan left the White House! The author of this piece wants the GOP to put moderates and independents up for voters to keep the House and Senate? These are the RINOs we are dealing with now!!! I'm sorry about my pessimison, but we left the Constitution behind a long time ago! With Trump elected as a populist president and congressional races being local, its all about populism and who gets the goods from government! I don't see conservatives making much headway when voters want STUFF from government until those same voters wake up some day in an America very similar to Venezuela!

JASmius
JASmius

The Trumper chickens, in other words, are coming home to roost. With a vengeance. The same factors that were red-meat selling points to the GOP base in 2016 - "Nobody controls Trump!", "He fight, fight, fights!" - are now crippling liabilities. Cult45 wanted Trump unleashed, and they got what they wanted, and he flukishly somehow still won anyway. But now, when he needs to be "reined in," nobody can do it because....well, "Nobody controls Trump". They thought it was fantastic to "let Trump be Trump," but the caveat was and is that Trump isn't capable of NOT being Trump. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Cult45 thought it was all about them - which is, itself, a recipe for midterm election disaster - but it was never about anything or anyone but Trump. The GOP was a means to an end for him, and if there's one thing that everybody ought to have learned about Donald Trump over the course of his forty years on the national stage, it is that with him, loyalty is a one-way street, and everybody BUT Trump is ultimately expendable. And it's not like there weren't those of us who tried to warn the GOP of what they were getting themselves into. In 2018 and beyond, they will reap the whirlwind of their myopic foolishness.