What once seemed a certainty is now, for all intents and purposes, a 50-50 proposition.
And Democrats can’t be too happy about it.
A new CNN poll released Wednesday shows the so-called “blue wave” of Democrat victories during the November midterm elections might not be as powerful as previously thought.
When asked if they would vote for a Democrat or a Republican if the elections for Congress were held today, 47 percent of respondents said they would vote for a Democrat, while 44 percent said they would vote for a Republican. Since that margin is within the poll’s 3.8 percent margin of error, that equates to a statistical tie.
New CNN poll, which historically leans Democratic, shows the Democrat's lead over Republicans in the 2018 midterms is almost completely gone. pic.twitter.com/HZKEWbMXbB
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 9, 2018
It also means Democrats have seen a double-digit lead in that question all but evaporate in less than three months.
“The Democrats’ advantage in the generic ballot dipped from 16 points in February to six points in March to just three points now,” reported Jennifer Agiesta, CNN’s polling director. “The party’s advantage has waned among enthusiastic voters as Republican enthusiasm has grown.”
If Democrats were hoping Republican voters wouldn’t be as emotionally invested in the midterm races, those hopes may be dashed. While 53 percent of Democrats said they are “very” or “extremely” enthusiastic about voting for Congress this year, 50 percent of Republicans feel the same way.
The fact President Donald Trump is receiving high marks for his handling of several key domestic issues is probably helping how Republicans fared in the poll. Nearly six in 10 surveyed said things in the country are going well amid improving approval ratings for the president’s handling of major issues, including the economy, immigration and foreign trade.
The three topics that scored highest in the poll for being “most important” among voters — the economy, immigration and taxes — are three areas where Trump’s approval ratings have increased.
A separate CNN poll released Monday found 52 percent of respondents said Trump is doing a good job with the economy, up from 48 percent a month earlier. His approval rating for issues like immigration and foreign trade also increased from the previous month.
The CNN poll released Wednesday shows that Trump will definitely have an impact on the midterm results.
For instance, 48 percent of registered voters say they would back a candidate who opposes Trump as opposed to 43 percent who say they will vote for one who supports the president. That 5 percent margin has narrowed significantly from the 11 percent margin in January.
Not surprisingly, Republicans are likely to favor Trump-supporting candidates. Of those who said they would likely support a congressional candidate who supports Trump, 91 percent of Republicans agreed, compared to 7 percent of Democrats. Of those who would support a candidate who opposes Trump, 87 percent of Democrats agree, while just 6 percent of Republicans feel that way.
CNN political analyst Chris Cilizza said the poll is going to provide great motivation for Republicans.
“None of this is definitive proof that Republicans will be able to beat back the Democratic wave,” Cilizza wrote of the latest poll results. “But for a party that has been without much good news for months, this poll will look like an oasis in the desert to GOP strategists and candidates.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.