As the 2018 midterms begin in earnest, many election experts are predicting a strong turnout for Democrats this year, as is typically the case for the party that is out of power during a midterm election.
However, a recently released poll may indicate that such an election won’t occur in November.
A CNN survey released Sunday reveals that the GOP has closed the enthusiasm gap considerably with their Democratic counterparts.
The survey, made in conjunction with SSRS, an independent research group, shows that when voters were asked which party they would vote to put in power in Congress, 49 percent of respondents chose the Democratic Party and 44 percent chose the Republican Party, a five percent difference.
The poll, which gauges generic support for both parties and does not take into account specific candidates, is a far cry from the same firm’s results a month prior.
In December of 2017, the same poll showed Democrats leading the GOP by 18 points — meaning Republicans have enjoyed a generic polling bounce of 13 points in a month’s time.
CNN isn’t the only news outlet reporting an increase in voter support for the GOP.
An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released this month has Democrats ahead by six percent, but in December, that same survey had Democrats up 11 percent. An Ipsos poll revealed an even larger GOP bump. Their poll from last week has Democrats ahead by 6 percent, but last month the same poll had them with a 14-point advantage over the GOP, according to Axios.
Real Clear Politics, which tracks approval ratings for both parties, is also showing an uptick in support for the Republican Party in the past 30 days.
Much of the spike in popularity has been attributed to GOP tax reform which was passed late last year. The reforms, which included sweeping tax cuts for the majority of American taxpayers, prompted countless announcements by major U.S. employers of wage increases, employee bonuses and added investments.
AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and many other large corporations declared bonuses for their workers because of the rate cuts. Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank declared they would raise their hourly wage to $15 an hour. Later on, Walmart announced it was raising its minimum wage to $11 an hour and handing out bonuses of up to $1,000.
The announcements by U.S. companies have come in conjunction with a roaring stock market.
Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial average reached 26,000 points for the first time in its 121-year history. This milestone came after the Dow broke its previous record when it surpassed the 25,000-point mark just seven trading days prior. The jump from 25,000 points to 26,000 was the fastest pace the Dow grew between 1,000-point markers in its history.
The company announcements and strong confidence in the stock market have done wonders for American workers.
Rapid job growth has lowered unemployment for all Americans, with employers in the country adding nearly 2.1 million jobs last year — the seventh straight year that hiring has topped 2 million. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that black unemployment was at its lowest level since they began tracking the data 45 years ago.
Republican candidates are hoping it can ride a wave of strong economic news into the 2018 midterms. The GOP will be defending its Senate and House majorities, along with a record number of seats in state legislatures and gubernatorial offices, putting the party mostly on the defensive this year.
However, Democrats will be defending an inordinate amount of Senate seats, mostly in states President Donald Trump won in 2016, giving the GOP an opportunity to increase their razor-thin majority in the upper chamber of Congress.
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