The Slatest

Democrats See Growing Lead in House Race Even as Trump Approval Rating Rises

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Richmond, Kentucky, on October 13, 2018.
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Richmond, Kentucky, on October 13, 2018.

Democrats are in an increasingly good position to take control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll. If the election were held today, Democrats would win 226 seats, eight more than the 218 needed for a majority. That’s well within the margin of error of the poll, meaning that the race for leadership could still go either way and some are so close that “it wouldn’t take much movement from where things stand now to swing many seats in either direction,” notes CBS News.

There is one key thing that will determine how the election will go: turnout. If there is a higher turnout with voters who don’t usually head to the polls, Democrats could win 235 seats. But if the turnout is lower and new voters stay home, Republicans would win 218 seats meaning the GOP would narrowly hold on to the House majority.

For now at least, there seems to be plenty of enthusiasm among Democrats and turnout could be high. Democrats also come out ahead in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that shows Democrats with an 11-point lead over the GOP on a generic House ballot among registered voters. That poll seems to suggest there is high enthusiasm among Democratic voters to actually head to the polls. Among those who say they prefer Democratic candidates for the House, 81 percent say they are certain they will vote, a marked increase from the 60 percent who said the same thing in 2014. The lead that Democrats enjoy is in large part due to a marked gender gap as women who are registered to vote support Democratic candidates 59-to-37 percent. Men are split more evenly with 46 percent supporting Democratic candidates and 48 percent Republicans.

This advantage for the Democrats comes at a time when President Donald Trump’s approval rating is on the rise. Trump’s approval rating is at 41 percent, an increase from 36 percent in late August. While 54 percent continue to disapprove of Trump, the president is seeing relatively high approval when it comes to the economy. Approval of the way he has handled the economy is now at 49 percent compared to 46 percent who disapprove, marking “the first time Trump has received net positive ratings on the economy in Post-ABC polls.” But the increase in the president’s rating doesn’t seem to be spilling over to Republican congressional candidates.