A new CNN poll shows Democrats are back up to a double-digit lead over Republicans in the generic ballot now that initial excitement over the GOP's tax cut plan has worn away.
The survey released Monday "put the Democratic advantage in the congressional generic ballot at an eye-popping 16 points." Other polls, including the Real Clear Politics average, The Hill reports, have Democrats with a smaller, but still double-digit, lead — around 10 points.
According to The Hill, Republicans had closed the gap back in January, after passing a multi-faceted tax reform plan that included a major corporate tax overhaul and smaller, yet substantial tax breaks for individual workers. At the time, companies reporting their first quarter earnings were quick to add that they would be increasing wages and expanding benefits, and Republicans earned quite the public relations honeymoon as a result.
But as January wore on, it seems voters reverted back to their earlier impressions of the Trump presidency. Scandals involving Trump's alleged extra-marital affairs, which happened well before he ran for president in 2016, fanned flames of discontent, as did the Congressional showdown over immigration reform.
Now, in the wake of a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, voters are attuned to gun policy more than economic policy, and no matter which way voters may lean on the issue of gun control, when they're not talking about taxes, Republicans lose.
Part of the problem may also be that Republican voters — and not just long-term Republicans — are separating the Congressional GOP from President Donald Trump. The Cook Political Report, which is tracking seats up for grabs in the 2018 election, shows some areas where Trump won in 2016, as "leaning Democrat."
Pollsters who spoke to The Hill, though, caution that a generic ballot temperature check taken now, in February, may not accurately predict the electoral sentiment in November, and voters have been extremely unpredictable these past few cycles. And there's plenty of time for Republicans to be better — and for Democrats to screw up.