As much as public opinion polls can be believed, Republicans should welcome the outcome of a new Morning Consult poll released on Monday.
It shows that less than 11 months from the midterm elections congressional Democrats are following President Joe Biden to a political shellacking.
In roughly nine months, Democrats have witnessed a 12-point decline in voters’ trust in handling the major issues.
The pollster studied the responses on eight core issues: the economy, jobs, immigration, national security, health care, the environment, energy, and education.
Back in March, the poll revealed that Democrats held a plus-14 approval rating on the “trust advantage” over the GOP.
Now, that rating is plus-2.
Democrats also held a plus-2 margin over the Republicans on a generic ballot. (That’s is when respondents are simply asked if they intend to vote for a Republican or a Democrat, not a specific candidate.)
Yet among independent voters, who are the fastest-growing segment of the electorate, the Democrats are minus-7 to the GOP.
The reason appears simple: Democrats are tethered to Biden, who in political terms is an anchor free-falling in the deep part of the ocean.
Since March, Biden’s net approval rating has plunged 27 points – more than twice that of congressional Democrats.
The pollster tried to put some lipstick on this particular swine.
“Years of history suggest the Democrats’ electoral demise in the midterm elections could be a foregone conclusion, given voters’ usual negative response to unified control of Washington, namely the incumbent president. And at this point, it’s not pretty,” Morning Consult said in a column with its poll.
“Yet 2022 provides some unique opportunities to defy history, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy, with global supply chain problems and built-up consumer demand contributing to inflation that has hit voters’ pocketbooks throughout Joe Biden’s presidency. Scholars who study elections, and operatives who work for campaigns, say the potential for a political recovery for Biden — fueled by the possible improvement of economic perceptions — could help Democrats avoid a disastrous cycle.”
But reality could intervene.
For one thing, the evidence of the Biden drag can be seen in Virginia, where the Republicans swept the top three elected offices, and in New Jersey, where Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy nearly lost. Murphy won with 50.1 percent of the vote in a state with 1 million more Democrats than Republicans.
Morning Consult noted that in those two states, Biden beat former President Donald Trump by a “considerably wider margin” than he did in the swing states that delivered him the presidency: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Thus, the pollster concluded, “Democrats begin 2022 in need of a miracle to stave off electoral losses in November.”
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