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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Looking Blue


Six weeks out, Republican ads aiming to disqualify Democrats early don't appear to be sticking. House polling — both public and private — was already tenuous for the GOP, but has become noticeably more dire since Labor Day. Independent polls in the last two weeks show Reps. Mimi Walters (CA-45), Leonard Lance (NJ-07) and Dave Brat (VA-07) trailing. Not long ago, they were in the Lean Republican column.
There are a few notable exceptions. Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06) has erased his deficit, in part thanks to GOP ads hitting Democrat Amy McGrath for bragging at an out-of-state fundraiser that "I am further left than anybody in the state of Kentucky." And, Republicans continue to see better-than-expected numbers in significantly Hispanic districts like California's 39th CD, Florida's 26th and 27th CDs and Texas's 23rd CD.
But both parties are seeing Republicans' numbers continuing to erode in professional suburbs, and some in the GOP fear they still haven't hit "rock bottom." This week, five more districts move towards Democrats. Overall, 13 GOP seats now lean to Democrats and another 29 are Toss Ups. Right now the likeliest outcome is a Democratic gain in the 25 to 40 seat range (Democrats need 23 for a majority). View our full ratings here.

David Lauter at The Los Angeles Times:
Boosted by growing support among suburban women and widespread antipathy toward President Trump, Democrats approach the midterm election poised to make major gains nationwide, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll shows.

Democrats had a 14-point margin, 55% to 41%, when likely voters were asked which party’s candidate they would cast a ballot for if the election were held now. If that advantage holds up until election day, just less than six weeks away, it would almost surely be large enough to sweep a Democratic majority into the House.

Voters also oppose Republicans on a number of major issues. But overriding all of them is the president, whose outsized personality has dominated the nation’s news since he declared his candidacy more than three years ago.

Roughly 3 out of 4 likely voters said they saw their vote this fall as an opportunity to express a view of Trump. For many, that view is negative: Those saying they planned to register opposition outnumbered Trump supporters, 45% to 29%.

Likely voters disapprove of Trump’s overall performance in office by 57% to 39%, the poll found. Almost half of likely voters, 49%, said they “strongly” disapprove, while just under one-quarter, 24%, strongly approve.

Especially notable are the views of women, whose preferences have expanded the Democratic edge since a USC Dornsife poll surveyed most of the same voters this summer.

In the summer, men were closely divided between the two parties; they remain so now. But women, who already leaned significantly toward the Democrats, have shifted further in their direction, widening a large gender gap. The poll found women now favor the Democrats by 28 percentage points, 62% to 34%, among likely voters.

Three overlapping groups of female voters who have long been important for Republicans have moved away from the party: suburban residents, married white women and white women without college degrees.