Oh My: GOP Surges to 2018 Generic Ballot Lead in New Reuters Poll

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Posted: May 22, 2018 10:45 AM
Oh My: GOP Surges to 2018 Generic Ballot Lead in New Reuters Poll

As Cortney mentioned yesterday, a new CBS News poll shows yet another uptick in Americans' economic optimism, with 64 percent of voters describing the US economy has 'very' or 'somewhat' good, and even more -- 68 percent -- giving partial or "a great deal" of credit to President Trump.  That same survey of likely voters also measured a variant of the generic Congressional ballot, confirming the still-tightening trajectory of that election year metric:


It's a strange way to ask the question, but when you add up the options, it's a topline Democratic lead of just two points.  This is exactly why the party is growing anxious about its slipping fortunes.  My typical cautionary note about how quickly the winds can shift, as well as this analysis of the Trump-era off-year and special election results, still remain firmly in place -- but there's a reason why sharp election-watchers are beginning to grow more skeptical of the Democrats' ability to win back the House (and are increasingly confident of the GOP's likelihood of retaining the Senate).  UPDATE: Oh my:


That was yesterday.  Today?  The GOP is up six points in this series.  Color me a bit skeptical, and these numbers will bounce around regardless, but Republicans haven't led on this question in any major in roughly two years, so it's worth flagging.  What explains this see-saw back toward Republicans?  As someone once said, it's the economy, stupid:


If you're keeping track at home, we've hit a 11-year high, a 13-year high, and a 17-year high on overall or economic national outlook in three distinct polls published over the last week or so.  That said, it would be insane for Republicans to feel even remotely assured that their majorities will remain intact after November.  Improved polling and stronger presidential approval numbers are undoubtedly significant data points, but those strides could be mitigated or wiped out by a strong Democratic intensity gap (via Axios):

A new NBC News/WSJ poll reveals that 66% of Democrats have a "high level of interest" in this fall's midterm elections — compared to 49% of Republicans.  Flashback: This is a mirror image of Republican enthusiasm ahead of the 2010 midterms, which resulted in a Tea Party sweep in Congress. At that time, the same NBC/WSJ poll showed that 66% of Republicans had a "high level of interest" compared to 49% of Democrats.

To avoid leaving you on too much of a down note, here's the latest on the Democratic National Committee's continued fundraising woes:


People can argue that this doesn't matter too much, but a robust and well-funded party apparatus can really pump a lot of help into a lot of key races.  On the other hand, since this is the DNC's worst election-year fundraising month since 2006, we probably shouldn't overlook...what happened in 2006.  UPDATE II -- Ahem: