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Holy crap: Republicans now lead on generic congressional ballot

By —— Bio and Archives--February 14, 2018

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Holy crap: Republicans now lead on generic congressional ballot
This was not supposed to happen. And to be sure, until votes are cast in November, it can’t be said to have happened. We have a long way to go before the mid-terms.

But the punditry has pretty much been assuming for months that the normal dynamics of a mid-term election, combined with President Trump’s low approval ratings, were setting things up for a pro-Democrat wipeout so severe that chances were we’d once again have to get used to hearing the words Speaker Pelosi. As recently as December, polls of a generic congressional ballot showed Democrats with a whopping 12-point lead, which meant that when people were simply asked which party they would rather see running Congress - without any candidates’ names being mentioned - 12 percent more said the Democrats.

Hmm. What has happened since then to give us this?

Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.

Voters are split almost evenly along party lines. Democratic voters break for their party, 85 percent to 5 percent, while Republicans similarly favor the GOP, 84 percent to 8 percent. Among independent voters, 26 percent would vote for the Democrat, 25 percent for the Republican and nearly half, 49 percent, are undecided.

The GOP’s 1-point advantage comes after three months of tracking in which Democrats maintained a lead ranging between 2 and 10 points on the generic ballot. That has been generally smaller than the party’s lead in other public surveys: The most recent RealClearPolitics average shows Democrats ahead by 7 points on the generic ballot, though that’s down from a high of 13 points late last year.

The new year has also produced a Trump polling bump. In the new poll, 47 percent of voters approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while the same percentage disapprove.

Pretty extraordinary year in terms of conservative policy achievements

So what’s happened since December?

Remember, back then we were still toiling with the media narrative that Republicans hadn’t passed, and Trump hadn’t signed, a significant piece of legislation. We were heaaring Russia Russia Russia day after day, when we weren’t hearing about the dysfunction of the Republican Congress and its inability repeal ObamaCare or otherwise get anything done.

Trump seemed to be doing more on Twitter than he was doing to govern the nation or improve the lives of the public.

Then the tax cut passed, and as we looked back on 2017, we made note of the fact that it had actually been a pretty extraordinary year in terms of conservative policy achievements. At first the media tried to sell the tax cut as a screw job on the middle class for the benefit of the rich, but then February paychecks started coming out and people realized their take-home pay had increased.

Just like that, the party we were told couldn’t govern had done a lot of governing, much of it pretty good.

Then the Democrats started reminding people why they were thrown out in 2016. They staged a ridiculous government shutdown for the benefit of illegal aliens, figuring the media would have their backs as usual by blaming the Republicans. The media did their best, but the public wasn’t buying it, and the Democrats were forced to back down as they quickly realized their stunt was fooling no one.

Next came the Nunes memo and the whole FISA controversy, which exposed that much of the anti-Trump Russia narrative of the past two years has been based on uncorroborated, Clinton-financed garbage. And it was the Democrats the public could clearly see trying to keep this information from coming out in public, again aided and abetted by their media sycophants, who are all for transparency if it’s the Pentagon Papers, or a White House leak that embarrasses Trump - but are suddenly concerned about national security when Democrats are at risk of exposure for their bad behavior.


Continued below...

Democrats might have to try offering something positive instead. And that is really not what the Democratic Party is all about

I think that overlaying all this is a palpable sense the public has that the Democrats, the media and the political class in general are willing to sabotage the Trump presidency no matter what the consequences may be to the nation. It’s one thing to oppose policies you think are wrong. It’s another thing to undermine the man every single day on every imaginable front, in the hope of rendering him entirely incapable of governing so you can point the finger and accuse him of the very thing you made sure would happen.

That’s what the public sees the Beltway crowd doing to Trump, and they’re not inclined to reward them by giving control of Congress back to the Democrats.

At least at the moment. There are no elections in February, and no one knows how all this might change in the months ahead. Maybe the attacks on Trump will become more sophisicated and effective. Maybe the voters will decide Republicans deserve some punishment as well for the spending blowout they just agreed to.

But the trend that says the party out of power always picks up seats in mid-term elections is not set in stone. You can fumble that opportunity away by demonstrating you are unconcerned about anything but your own power, and no one does that on a daily basis like the Democratic Party. They usually figure they can get away with it because the media will cover for them.

That will work until people stop trusting the media, at which point Democrats might have to try offering something positive instead. And that is really not what the Democratic Party is all about.

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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain

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