Another week, another absolutely gruesome poll for President Biden and the Democrats. Analyzing results like this is starting to feel like a weekly tradition. In late October, it was the NBC News poll. Then came the USA Today/Suffolk survey, which had the GOP leading by eight points on the generic congressional ballot. I’ve noted before that Republicans even being statistically tied on that particular metric is generally very good news for the GOP, which traditionally trails on the question.
I also mentioned that the eight-point Republican lead looked like “a bit of an outlier,” pending more data. Well, now we have more data via a fresh Washington Post/ABC News survey, and it’s not an outlier anymore. It’s hard to overstate how bad the political environment is for Democrats nationally right now, and if the midterm elections were right around the corner, Republicans would likely be swept into congressional majorities, while inflicting additional down-ballot damage. My goodness:
Biden being 12 points underwater overall, and getting crushed (-16) on the economy isn’t at all surprising at this point. He’s at (35/58) among independents, which is a bit of a “wow” data point. The president slipping underwater on COVID is also somewhat eyebrow-raising. Nearly 60 percent of the public now worried about the government growing too much could pose a grave threat to “Build Back Better,” and could embolden Sen. Joe Manchin to follow through on his inclination to effectively freeze the legislative process on that front. But I did an actual double-take at the generic ballot number. Republicans plus ten? Did I read that right? I did. For reference, the GOP won the House “popular vote” nationwide by seven points in 2010. They gained 63 House seats.
They won the national “popular vote” nationwide by less than six points in 2014. Also they gained eight Senate seats. The RCP polling average showed Republicans trailing on the generic congressional ballot by nearly seven points in 2020. The actual margin was roughly half that. And the GOP gained 12 net seats. With all the caveats firmly in place that a lot can change politically over the span of eleven months or so, I can literally only imagine what an R+10 national election would look like. The conventional wisdom is that Republicans will gain back the House somewhat easily, but the Senate will be significantly tougher. I still believe that’s true, but numbers like this might make me reconsider if they hold up. My goodness, again:
The key Senate states this cycle are much worse for Democrats than in the country writ large, and the national numbers are already very bad for Democrats. This poll also finds that in those eight major 2022 Senate states, Biden’s approval rating is 33 percent, and he’s performing seven and 11 points worse than he is nationally on the economy and COVID, respectively. I feel compelled to repeat that many things could change before November of next year, but things are shaping up staggeringly well for Republicans, with crucial battlegrounds being especially inhospitable to the Democratic Party at the moment. Maybe Republicans whiffing on some prized Senate recruits will undermine their preferred overall outcomes. But maybe running second-tier candidates won’t make a huge difference.
Another point: Many Democrats and their media allies assured us just last week that after the infrastructure bill passed, and a good monthly jobs number was posted, an important shift was upon us. If only the Virginia and New Jersey elections had occurred one week later, they claimed, Democrats would have performed appreciably better. The WaPo/ABC survey we’ve been reviewing was in the field entirely after both of those supposed game-changers took place. The environment arguably deteriorated for Democrats. That sound you hear is another denialist narrative spin circling the drain. Meanwhile, this trend – which deeply threatens the Left’s toxic identity politics racket – continues apace:
Brown-skinned white supremacy is on the march, MSNBC and progressive Twitter will soon inform us. I’ll leave you with one more polling result:
Iowa is technically still a battleground state, even though it has migrated redward for several cycles now. But it wasn’t long ago that it went for Obama twice. President Trump carried the Hawkeye state by eight points last year, so the hypothetical rematch survey represents a three-point improvement, as Bevan points out. This is ridiculously premature daydreaming, but if the GOP nominee (especially one who may appeal to a broader swath of the electorate, and there are some interesting numbers regarding Trump’s grip on the party in this Iowa poll) manages to improve the Republican presidential vote share by three points across other purple states, half a dozen states would flip.