With five weeks to go before the mid-term elections, Republicans are closing the gap with Democrats — especially after the latest debacle with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
In the Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday, 49% of voters said they support the Democratic candidate in their local race for the House of Representatives, while 42% back the Republican candidate.
That’s a 7-point gain for Republicans in just a week, with support for Democrats dropping 3% and support for Republicans rising 4%. In the September 12 survey by Quinnipiac, Democrats held a 52 – 38 margin, so Republicans have cut the lead in half.
The latest poll was conducted from September 27 – 30, after the Senate Judiciary Committee held its latest hearing on Kavanaugh, which ripped Democrats for its partisan witch hunt.
“The numbers suggest the big blue wave may have lost some of its momentum as House races tighten. President Donald Trump’s approval remains deeply in the red,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
The Quinnipiac poll follows a Gallup poll that showed Republicans’ enthusiasm five weeks before the mid-term elections is rising fast, putting them neck and neck with Democrats, who held a big margin just weeks ago.
“Sixty-one percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners and 58% of Republicans and Republican leaners say they are more enthusiastic about voting in November compared to prior elections,” Gallup reported.
“These levels roughly match Republicans’ record-high enthusiasm in 2010, Barack Obama’s first midterm, when the GOP won a whopping 63 seats. But this is the first time in Gallup’s trend since 1994 that both parties have expressed high enthusiasm.”
Most fascinating in the poll is the comparison to 2010. In the first mid-terms since Obama was elected — and the first after the passage of Obamacare without a single GOP vote — Democrats got shellacked, losing 63 seats in the House of Representatives, the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 mid-term elections. Republicans also picked up six seats in the Senate.
The rout was even worse across the country: the GOP gained 680 seats in state legislative races, breaking the previous record of 628 set by Democrats in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.
Gallup’s poll followed one by NBC and The Wall Street Journal last week. The Journal said, “The poll, while outlining challenges for the GOP, included some good news for Republicans. The party is closing an enthusiasm gap, with 61 percent of Republican voters now expressing high interest in the election, nearly matching the 65 percent of Democrats. In polls taken over the first eight months of the year, Democrats had held an aggregate 12-point advantage in the share of supporters showing high interest in the election.”