Trump has made immigration and trade the two centerpiece issues of his midterm election strategy, but a new poll shows that he is losing on both as Democrats have surged to a double-digit lead on enthusiasm.
His handling of immigration draws slightly higher disapproval, with 39 percent approving and 59 percent disapproving. More than twice as many say they strongly disapprove as say they strongly approve. Among men, 51 percent disapprove, but among women, 67 percent disapprove. Among whites with college educations, 68 percent disapprove, but among non-college whites, 56 percent approve.
Barely 4 in 10 Americans, 41 percent, approve overall of Trump’s handling of the trade issue. On two other questions — how his trade policies will affect jobs in the United States and the cost of products here — majorities of Americans say the impact will be bad rather than good. Nearly 3 in 4 say the impact on the cost of products will be bad.
Democrats appear more energized than Republicans about the fall elections, especially in battleground districts. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters in those districts, 59 percent say the midterms are extremely important, compared with 46 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Overall, registered voters say they prefer to vote for a Democrat over a Republican for the House, 47 percent to 37 percent. The margin on that question is not statistically larger in battleground districts, standing at 12 percentage points.
Trump is trying to shape the midterm around two issues, and he is losing on both
Trump wants to campaign on immigration and trade. He thinks that he can get Republicans out to vote by playing on fears of immigration and looking tough on trade. The problem is that the American people disagree with him on both issues. If Trump continues to try to run on immigration and trade, Republicans in House and Senate races could lose their seats. Republican incumbents are already facing backlash due to their unpopular attacks on Obamacare and passage of tax cuts for the rich. Ripping kids away from their parents and launching trade wars could cause even more seats to flip from red to blue.
Nothing suggests that the Blue Wave has diminished
Sometimes we can get a little too hung up on the generic ballot, but the generic ballot is just that. It’s generic. It doesn’t factor in the candidates in each race and national developments. It is all things being equal would you rather have a Democratic or Republican controlled Congress, which is on par with asking all things being equal would you rather have ice cream or apple pie? One day you may want ice cream, but the next time you are asked you may want pie.
The better question is enthusiasm. Enthusiastic voters show up to vote, and Democrats have been consistently more excited about November than Republicans. Enthusiasm is why Trump is whipping up the fear on immigration, because they know that their voters, right now, aren’t going to show up to vote in big enough numbers in November.
Democrats keep doing great on primary election days and setting turnout records. Democrats continue to flip red seats at the state level and overperform in special elections.
The blue wave is heading straight for Donald Trump in November.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association