A new CNN poll suggests that the tax reform bill which passed late last year has revived Republican hopes of maintaining both houses of Congress in the 2018 mid-term elections.
According to the poll, the difference between Republicans has narrowed to just five points, from ten to fifteen points before the wide-reaching tax cut passed. Now, voters prefer Democrats to Republicans only 49% to 44%.
While the "recovery" is by no means complete — and support is not yet guaranteed — the poll represents a significant change from the summer, when the GOP was struggling to shore up the support necessary to avoid major losses. Democrats are down 7 points from CNN's previous poll, and Republicans are up 6 points from the same, suggesting a major change in voter sentiment.
CNN Poll: If the midterms were today, which party would you vote for? (Change from last)— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) January 21, 2018
Democrats 49 (-7)
Republicans 44 (+6)
The trends are heavily in the favor of the GOP since the tax cut passed.
Much of the change is the result of renewed enthusiasm among Republican voters. In December, only 32% of likely mid-term voters suggested they'd be happily casting a ballot in November for their preferred party. Now, 43% say they're "feeling extremely or very enthusiastic" about voting in November. It turns out, voters really did want to keep more of their money.
Independents are also slowly swinging to the GOP, though most voters are still "apt to back a candidate for Congress who opposes Trump," and that stands regardless of whether that candidate is a Republican or a Democrat.
The GOP has been on the receiving end of positive public sentiment since late December, but the true test will be whether they are blamed for the government budget shutdown, or whether that blame falls on their Democratic colleagues. In the past, voters have expressed concern over Congress not doing their job keeping things running, and the current shutdown could have disastrous consequences for Democrats if a deal is not reached.