Democrats had hoped to capitalize on widespread furor over the Trump Administration’s policy of separating illegal immigrant families awaiting asylum hearings, but according to a CBS poll out Monday, taken during the two-week-long immigration debate, Democrats actually slid another point on the November generic ballot.
In response to a question asking which party voters would prefer control Congress in November, 40% of respondents said “Democrats,” whereas 36% of respondents said “Republicans,” down one point on the same poll from just two weeks ago.
The poll’s margin of error is just under 3%, putting Republicans and Democrats in a statistical dead heat, just as Congressional campaigns enter the crucial summer months.
The CBS result isn’t even an outlier. A Reuters tracking poll shows Democrats down four points from the second week of June. But more importantly, even favorable polls show a lack of fluctuation following what should have been a key moment for Congressional Democrats; the Economist showed Democrats losing a point since the beginning of June and Quinnipiac showed Democrats motionless these last two weeks.
Voters still seem to favor more lenient immigration policies though — as The Daily Wire also pointed out this morning — Americans stop short of favoring policies akin to blanket amnesty that allow families to remain in the U.S. indefinitely. But the problem, as CBS points out, seems to be that the immigration debate moved people who don’t typically vote rather than people who are already engaged in the political process and expected to cast ballots in November.
“One-third of Americans and registered voters say the separation policy will be a very important matter in their congressional vote this fall,” CBS notes. “Of those who say it will change, more say it will make them vote Democratic than Republican. That gap is even larger among those who have never voted in a midterm before.”
If Democrats can’t energize the un-energized, they’ll be stuck, and so far, although people aren’t keen on how Republicans have handled the immigration issue, it doesn’t appear they’re so convinced Democrats will do a better job that they’ll turn out in droves to flip the House and Senate.