Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Democrats Up by 9 in 538 Rolling Average

The latest polls have the Democrats up by 9 in 538's rolling average of the generic Congressional ballot. The Democrats haven't held a lead this big on the polling average since about mid-March.
David Wasserman of Cook Political Report is also out with their latest assessment of the November House elections. He sees the Democrats as being favored to take back the House, though he thinks it's a close call. Note also his caution about enthusiasm levels among Hispanics and Millennials, which are lagging and could hurt turnout.
"Four months out, the battle for House control remains highly competitive. But Democrats remain the narrow favorites to pick up the 23 seats they need to win the majority.....
Republican strategists hold out hope that voters' economic satisfaction - 63 percent of voters in the most recent NBC/WSJ poll say they're "very" or "somewhat" satisfied - will temper a "blue wave." But midterms are almost always a referendum on the incumbent president, and President Trump's approval rating of roughly 42 percent - while up - is still below that of other presidents when they lost the House in 1994, 2006 and 2010.
These fundamentals suggest a photo finish in the House. But in our view, the intensity gap between the parties' voters is what gives Democrats a slight edge. In the most recent NBC/WSJ poll, 63 percent of Democrats rated their interest level in the midterms as a "9" or "10," compared to 47 percent of Republicans. And by 25 points, voters said they were more likely to support a candidate who runs as a "check" on Trump.
This heightened Democratic enthusiasm - and voters' receptivity to a "check and balance" message - helps explain why, on average, Democrats have run nine points ahead of their typical shares of the vote in eight special elections held since last April.
Some Republicans point to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's massive upset of fourth-ranking House Democrat Joe Crowley (NY-14) in Queens as evidence Democrats are about to fall off a socialist cliff into the land of unelectability. But it's important to remember that a) 72 percent of House primaries have already taken place and b) most critical primaries are taking place in swing suburbs, not districts Hillary Clinton won by 58 points.
In reality, there's been no clear ideological pattern in this year's Democratic primaries. Primary victors in swing seats have ranged from social moderates like state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02) and prosecutor Brendan Kelly (IL-12) to pro-single payer progressives like Kara Eastman (NE-02) and Katie Porter (CA-45). Instead, the clearest trend has been the stunning success of women in Democratic primaries.....
There are, however, signs that Democrats still have work to do to motivate important elements of their base if they are to maximize their November gains. In the June NBC/WSJ poll, 65 percent of Democratic women and 61 percent of whites with college degrees expressed the highest possible levels of interest in the midterm elections. However, only 43 percent of Latinos and 30 percent of young voters (18 to 29) did."
As for the Senate.....well, don't hold your breath.

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