One of the oddest questions to see on polls this late in the midterm election cycle is known as the “generic congressional” option. In it, people are asked whether they would prefer to see Republicans or Democrats win control of the House, Senate, or both. Invariably, these polls reveal Americans want Democrats to be in charge.
Before any Republicans cry foul, keep in mind that this question almost always favors the party opposite of the White House at the time. It’s as if there’s a natural tendency for voters to want the checks and balances established by our founders to play out along party lines. This is why the ebb and flow of Republicans or Democrats controlling the White House or Capitol Hill is rarely aligned for long.
But here’s the interesting note about these polls. When specific candidates are put in play and real-life scenarios are applied, Republicans are fairing much better in polls than one might expect for a midterm election, particularly with a president as polarizing as President Trump. It’s as if people, particularly away from the coast, would like to see a shift of power but not in their own states.
Not in their own backyards.
Democrats have held a consistent lead in these generic congressional polls all year, but the gap has been narrowing in recent weeks. That may be because more Republicans are also getting “energized” by recent events, including the divisive debate over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
A similar late campaign shift in the 2014 midterms helped Republicans take control of the Senate away from Democrats, with a net gain of 9 seats, midway through President Barack Obama’s second term. In that election, Republicans expanded their control of the House by 13 seats. Democrats had been leading in generic congressional polls for much of the summer, but the advantage flipped to Republicans in the final weeks of the campaign.
Right now we’re seeing a shift in polls to favor more Republicans. This is due in large part to the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. From the beginning, Democrats were opposed to him and utilized obstruction techniques to slow his confirmation. When news broke of sexual assault accusations, it appeared their tactics might end up working. But a lack of corroborating evidence and a media blitz intended to derail him helped to energize the conservative base that may not have been as excited before about the midterm elections. Now, Republicans are seeing how necessary it is to support the President during confirmations.
These are all good indicators for Republicans, but the timing may be off. It’s like hitting the nitrous oxide button too soon in a street race. They want to hit their peak a week before the election. With just over four weeks left, they’ll need to sustain this momentum or reignite the base at least one more time before election day.
As with all polls and analyses of them, take this with a grain of salt. The only thing that really matters is votes. Will the GOP get the masses to the voting booths? That will determine how the second half of President Trump’s term goes.
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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Thank you and God bless!
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