2018 Enthusiasm Sustained For Dems As Republicans Disappear For Trump
As we head towards the end of 2017, 2018 enthusiasm for midterm elections is very left and very blue. According to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, among registered voters, 56% say they favor a Democrat in their congressional district while 38% prefer a Republican. That 18-point edge is the largest at this point in midterm election cycles dating back two decades.
Independent voters favor Democrats by a 16-point margin, 51% to 35%, similar to the 50% to 36% margin by which they favored Democrats in fall of 2005, ahead of Democrats’ 2006 recapturing of the House and Senate. The Democrats hold a larger lead overall now because Republicans make up a smaller share of the electorate than they did in 2005.
Trump Is Turning Republicans Away From the Party
Only 38% of Americans self-identify as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents during 2017 so far, according to an average of monthly numbers from Gallup. This number marks the lowest it’s been since 1991.
The GOP share of the electorate fell from a 42% monthly average around the presidential election in November 2016 down to a 37% monthly average approximately one year later. Roughly one in eight people who identified as Republicans or Republican-leaning in November 2016 no longer do so.
Meanwhile, an average of 45% of the US population says they identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents in 2017 so far. The gap between Democrats and Republicans marks the widest Democratic advantage in the electorate since former President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Republicans have hit lower marks than 37% in monthly averages. In the aftermath of Obama’s election in December 2008, only 34% of Americans identified as Republican vs. a whopping 53% of Americans who said they identified as Democrats.
Overall, 49% of registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress next year, compared with 32% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters who say the same. 34% have a favorable view of the GOP, while 46% say the same about the Democrats. 2018 enthusiasm for Democrats is certainly palpable.
Overall, 68% say they are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, and a matching 68% say they are angry about the way things are going in the country today. About two-thirds of Republicans say they’re satisfied with the way the nation is being governed now, up from 10% in 2015, when Barack Obama was president and Republicans controlled the Congress. Among Democrats, satisfaction has fallen from 40% to 6%. Independents remain about equally unsatisfied: 25% are now vs. 22% in 2015.
Anger In The Trump Era
Half of Democrats now saying they are “very angry” about the way things are going in the US, up from 14% in 2015. Among Republicans, deep anger has dipped from 41% in 2015 to 10% now. 77% say his presidency has created significant changes in the country, but more say they’re for the worse (43%) than for the better (30%). Back in 2009, fewer thought Obama had brought change by November of his first year in office (69%), but by a 40% to 27% margin, they said those changes were for the better rather than the worse.
36% hold a positive view, 60% a negative one on the Dotard and his approval rating for handling the economy has reached a new low, despite the White House’s frequent touting of the country’s economic progress. Overall, 49% disapprove of Trump’s handling of the economy, the highest level to say so since he took office, while 44% approve.
Generally, more Democrats live in the United States than Republicans, but elections are still competitive because some core Democratic groups — like young people and nonwhites — tend to vote at lower rates than core Republican groups. 2018 enthusiasm can result in the year of the Democrat if those groups that traditionally do not show up to vote do so.