Democrats, and, in particular, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have been particularly optimistic about their chances at retaking the House of Representatives after the midterm elections this fall. But according to a new poll from ABC/Washington Post, it seems they'd do well to take a more cautious approach.
According to the poll released Monday, "47 percent of registered voters say they prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 43 percent favor the Republican." That seems significant (although 4 points is often within the margin of error), until you consider that, in January, the spread between the two parties was 12 points, and the Democrats' lead has slipped 8 points since January.
The problem for Democrats is two-fold: the president is growing more popular, and the Democratic Party has taken affirmative steps to make themselves less popular in the last several months (though, in fairness, they probably didn't intend it that way).
Trump's approval ratings have crept up steadily since December, when the Republican Party passed a series of tax cuts that prompted American businesses to "share the wealth." It took a slight hit when the Stormy Daniels story broke, but has since recovered to a record high 40%.
Democrats, meanwhile, have publicly embraced policy positions popular with their progressive base, but not so much with Americans as a whole. Specifically, Democratic leaders, in the wake of the Parkland high school mass shooting, have suggested that if they regain control of the House, they will push stricter gun regulations — something around 70% of Americans oppose to some extent.
There are some statistical advantages for Democrats: several gerrymandered districts are no longer gerrymandered, leaving them vulnerable to party switch, and Democrats are still more excited to vote in November than their Republican counterparts.
But this poll does show that November's midterms are by no means a done deal.