President Donald Trump’s approval rating has jumped higher than President Barack Obama’s was when the latter president faced his first midterm elections, according to reports. And it is putting a dampener of the Democrats’ expected “blue wave.”
When Obama was set to face his first midterm he stood at 45 percent approval. But now, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, Donald Trump stands at 47 percent approval ahead of his own first midterm election period.
According to The Hill newspaper:
Obama’s approval rating was reaching a record low in October 2010, just before his party lost a significant number of seats in the House and Senate.
The new NBC/WSJ poll found voters more energized than they have been for years, with 72 percent of Democrats telling pollsters they are very interested in the upcoming election as 68 percent of Republicans said the same.
“Midterms are about mobilization, and we are headed into the stretch run with unprecedented enthusiasm among both parties,” Democratic pollster Fred Yang told NBC.
Overall, the poll found Democrats with a 9-point lead over Republicans in the battle for congressional control. Fifty percent of likely voters said they want Congress to flip to the Democrats while 41 percent said they want Republicans to retain majorities.
Indeed, it is very common for a president to preside over a loss of seats for his party during his first midterm election. And this 2018 midterm will not be an exception to this general history.
But whereas a few months ago most in the media had proclaimed a “blue wave” election was coming for November, few now feel that this is a sure thing.
For instance, even Charlie Cook — a very trusted and long-time political prognosticator — says that the Kavanaugh fight materially hurt the Democrats and their blue wave that was supposed to roll over the elections and help the Democrats re-take the House and the Senate.
Per National Review:
Veteran political handicapper Charlie Cook puts it bluntly in his latest column at the Cook Political Report, in which he asks whether “those who led the out-of-control demonstrations on Capitol Hill against the Kavanaugh nomination have any understanding of how much damage they did to Democrats and the party’s chances of winning a majority in the Senate. His answer: “My guess is they don’t. But Senate Democrats probably do.”
Cook now says the odds of Democrats winning a Senate a majority are “long, no better than 1 in 5.” As of today, “a Republican net gain of a seat or two seems most likely, moving the GOP up to either 52 or 53 seats, though a gain of three seats or no net change [is] entirely possible.”
As for the House, political analysts still make the Democrats the odds-on favorites to retake control there for the first time since 2010. But while the new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll out today gives Democrats a nine-point advantage nationwide in voting for the House, it tells a different story in the battleground seats that will determine control:
The Democratic advantage has vanished in House districts that matter most. In districts rated as most competitive, the parties are dead even on which one should control Congress. In last month’s poll, Dems led by 13 points among registered voters and 6 points among likely voters
But, let’s not rest easy and just assume the blue wave has receded. The only way to build a seawall against the blue wave is to get out and vote. Vote Republican. We cannot allow Democrats to win power at this delicate time in history.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.