“NEW POLL: Dems have 4-point lead in battleground House districts”
— The Hill (@thehill) October 8, 2018
Many of these swing districts are currently held by Republicans, and the fact that Democrats are leading in many of them shows that the chances are very real that there will be a Blue Wave election this year.
According to The Washington Post/Schar School poll of likely voters there are 69 battleground congressional districts that favor the Democratic nominee. Of the 69 districts, 63 are currently GOP-held. (91%) Democrats need to have a net gain of just 23 seats in the House to win back control of the lower chamber of Congress.
The poll could be very important because it surveyed competitive districts that were rated as either “toss-ups” or leaning toward one party by The Cook Political Report.
In the survey, women strongly support Democrats in those competitive districts, with 54 percent backing the Democratic candidates. Just 40 percent of women in swing districts support the Republican candidates, according to the poll.
Among men surveyed in these districts, Republicans hold a 51-46 advantage over Democratic candidates.
In the 2016 election Donald Trump won 48 of the 69 districts now deemed competitive. In those 48, the new poll found that the surveyed likely voters are evenly split, with 48 percent saying they support the Democratic candidate and 47 percent preferring the GOP candidate.
In the 21 districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, Democrats have a 10 point advantage, 53-43.
The Post-Schar School poll has high credibility because it surveyed 2,672 likely voters as opposed to just registered voters. The margin of error is fairly small, just plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Democrats have for months held a steady lead in generic congressional ballot polling, which is a good predictor of midterm election results. The current RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Democrats with a 6.6 percentage point lead on the generic congressional ballot. This should be enough to take back control of the House of Representatives.
Monday’s poll, however, is not generic. It is very specific since it included the names of the Democratic and Republican candidates in their respective districts. This is the first such poll to focus on specific races for November’s House elections.
Much has been written about Democrats’ hopes for a Blue Wave (or even a Blue Tsunami) election that would give them a majority in both chambers of Congress. Republicans of course hope to prevent this from happening.
Results of this survey are certainly favorable for Democrats, and may even show that a Blue Wave is likely. A Blue Tsunami, that would lead to a Democratic takeover of the Senate, is not currently being predicted by the polls, although it is still a possibility with the election being four weeks from tomorrow.
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.