If pollsters at Monmouth University are correct, the Republican Party this year will lose all five of the seats it currently holds in the U.S. House of Representatives. This would be a substantial percentage of the 23 seats needed to give Democrats control of Congress after the 2018 midterm elections.
The Monmouth University Poll was just released and it shows Democrats holding a 19 percentage-point lead over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot. This is a huge number, even in New Jersey which has been trending blue ever since disgraced Republican Governor Chris Christie was elected. National numbers are not as great but still favor Democrats.
“This is pretty astounding. Not only are New Jersey Democrats doing better on the generic House ballot statewide, but the shift is coming almost entirely from districts currently held by the GOP. If these results hold, we could be down to just one or two – or maybe even zero – Republican members in the state congressional delegation after November,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Murray added: “Voters will certainly take a closer look at the quality of the candidates nominated by the Democratic Party in each of these seats this fall. That could certainly change the equation in any individual district. However, these results suggest that New Jersey Republicans are facing hurricane-force headwinds right now.”
New Jersey residents’ negative view of President Trump is the main factor for these results, according to the poll. History shows that presidential approval ratings are the #1 factor in the outcomes of midterm elections.
Statewide, only 34% of registered voters approve of the job Trump is doing while 61% disapprove of the president’s performance. In the five GOP-held congressional districts 43% approve and 53% disapprove. In the seven Democratic congressional districts just 29% approve and 66% disapprove of Trump’s performance.
The Trump-Republican tax law passed last December is also unpopular in the Garden State and may contribute to Republican losses in the fall. A mere 35 percent of New Jersey residents approve of the law. Nearly half believe their taxes will go up because of the law, and only 19 percent think they will go down.
In a national poll done by Monmouth, 37% of voters in the U.S. think their federal taxes will go up, 23% expect them to go down, while 31% are expecting no change at all.
“Much of the impact of the tax reforms is already baked into Congressional vote preferences. The key factor now seems to be how it will affect turnout. Democrats are more motivated by this issue than Republicans,” said Murray.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from April 6 to 10, 2018 with 703 New Jersey adults, including a subset of 632 registered voters.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.