Historical trends have shown that during a president’s first term in office, the opposition party typically does well in the first midterm election and gains control of one or both chambers of Congress, almost as if the American people inherently seek to provide a balance of power between the two major parties.
That trend, combined with the enthusiastically visceral hate, er, opposition to President Donald Trump among a significant portion of the Democrat base, led to countless predictions among analysts and experts of a “Blue Wave” in 2018 that would see Democrats crush their Republican counterparts and regain control of both the House and Senate.
But according to The Federalist, recent polling has shown that the expected “wave” may be little more than a ripple, if even that, and Republicans now stand a good chance of retaining control of both chambers of Congress once all the votes have been cast in November.
Indeed, for the first time in this 2018 election cycle, a major poll has placed the GOP ahead of the Democrats on the generic congressional ballot, and by a commanding six-point lead at that.
That major poll would be the Reuters tracking poll — not one typically viewed as favorable to Republicans — which showed for the week ending May 20, 2018, that 40.7 percent of respondents would vote for the Republican candidate in their district while 34.5 would vote for the Democrat candidate. Roughly 15 percent said they were still undecided and 6.5 percent plan to vote for a third-party candidate.
To understand the significance of those unexpected results, rewind to the week of December 17, 2017, in which this same tracking poll had Democrats leading Republicans by a margin of 14.5 points, 46.7 percent to 32.2 percent, with 12.8 percent undecided and 4.4 percent going third-party.
That is a huge shift upward for Republicans and a massive slide downward for Democrats over the span of just five months — all while the liberal media continued to hound Republicans and President Trump with excessively negative coverage and amid the ongoing Trump-Russia collusion investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
As an aside, the Mueller investigation into alleged collusion has increasingly appeared to be little more than a politicized witch hunt against the president and his associates with no real basis in factual evidence. The perception of apparent persecution of Trump and his people could very well have backfired against Democrats.
The shift in the poll really became apparent following the week of April 29, which placed Dems at 43 percent and the GOP at 34.6 percent, with that gap of 8.4 points closing to 3.7 points and 2.9 points over the next two weeks until the Republicans vaulted into the lead this past week.
Meanwhile, the Real Clear Politics polling average — which has yet to account for this latest Reuters poll — shows Democrats holding on to a tenuous 4-point lead, 44.2 to 40.2 percent, as of May 19.
Even that rolling average shows how Democrats have taken a sharp dive while Republicans have climbed recently, and is starkly different from the largest margin displayed between the two parties on December 26, 2017, when Dems led the GOP by 13 points, 49.1 to 36.1 percent.
Though neither RCP nor Reuters provide any sort of analysis to explain the various numerical shifts up and down on the tracking polls, astute observers of the news can figure out the sudden shift on their own.
In the case of the Reuters poll, consider just this past week, which began with Democrats skipping — if not openly criticizing — the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem while expressing support for Hamas terrorists killed by Israeli Defense Forces during Hamas-led deadly protests and riots at the security barrier separating Gaza from Israel.
Midway through the week, Americans watched as Democrats and the liberal media chastised Trump for his choice of the word “animals” to describe brutally murderous and sadistically vicious MS-13 gang members. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even defended the ruthless criminals and killers as undeserving of the term due to the “spark of divinity” as well as the “dignity and worth” inherent in every human being.
The week closed with revelations that, contrary to Democrat and media denials for the past 18 months, the Obama administration’s FBI really was spying on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
None of that is a particularly good look for Democrats in the eyes of the average American voter, and unless Trump suffers some major policy blunder or Republicans find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory — as they have a tendency to do — things don’t appear to be looking any better for Dems going forward.
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