A new CNN poll carries with it a stark reality check for Democrats who thought November would usher in a magnificent blue wave of liberal enthusiasm, giving them control of the House and giving Paul Ryan’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi once again. Not only are Democrats now coming to terms with the fact that their dreams of taking back the House are shrinking by the day. Their slight advantage is being erased, bit by bit, as Americans wake up to the shocking, how-can-this-possibly-be idea that…Donald Trump is actually doing a hell of a job.
According to the poll, Democrats now lead Republicans on a generic congressional ballot by a mere three percentage points – 47% to 44%. As they put it on CNN, that’s within the margin of error. Which means that we are essentially looking at a tie ballgame right now. For all of the polling strength that Democrats had a couple of months ago, this slide represents a terrifying trendline that could get even worse for them as we head into the summer.
That’s not the only bad news for Democrats. Voters are split nearly down the middle as to whether Congress would be better off controlled by Republicans or Democrats; 34% actually say that it doesn’t matter which party controls Congress. 60% of voters approve of the way President Trump is handling major issues like the economy and immigration, even if his overall approval numbers are still languishing in the low 40s. You can thank the media’s relentlessly negative coverage for that, but it is what it is.
Still, people fundamentally understand that voting for Democrats isn’t going to make Trump go away – it’s only going to hinder the progress of the conservative agenda he is trying to push. And if the polls show that the majority of Americans support that agenda, it’s hard to see why they would want to put obstructionist Democrats in his way. Voters don’t always cast their ballots rationally, but suffice to say, there is a major opening here for Republicans to stave off that fabled blue wave.
In an interview with Laura Ingraham on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was optimistic, especially after the enthusiasm conservatives showed in this week’s primaries. “Let’s put it in perspective here,” he said. “If you look at the turnout yesterday in Ohio, Republicans turnout was higher than expected.”
He said that Pelosi had a losing message that the American people were not interested in hearing.
“I know what Nancy Pelosi says. She says she’s going to be speaker,” he said. “She says the only policy she really has is to raise your taxes. At the end of the day, this is where all the press is saying one thing, just like they said against President Trump and his race for the presidency. And the turnout’s gonna be different.”