With just ten days until the midterm elections, the generic congressional ballot, as shown on the RealClearPolitics average, has more American voters favoring Democrats than at any previous time this year.
The percentage of voters who want a Democrat to represent them in Congress is now 49.5%, a record high number.
The previous high of 49.1% was reached in December of 2017. The percentage who want a Republican to represent them is 41.9%, according to the RCP average.
The list of the ten most recent polls shows that five of them have Democrats favored by 50% or more.
On Friday, one of the highest quality polls shows that Democrats also have increased their advantage from 6 to 10 points compared to a few weeks ago. According to the new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll Democrats now lead Republicans on the generic ballot 50 percent to 40 percent.
According to Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.com, the high quality polls show larger advantages for Democrats than low quality polls.
“In general the highest-quality polls seem to show a bigger generic ballot lead for Dems (averaging maybe 9 or 10 points) than the medium quality stuff (averaging maybe 6 or 8).”
In general the highest-quality polls seem to show a bigger generic ballot lead for Dems (averaging maybe 9 or 10 points) than the medium quality stuff (averaging maybe 6 or 8). https://t.co/5gJ1oBNG0c
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 26, 2018
This new poll also shows an historically high gender gap with women favoring the Democrats in record numbers.
“Generic ballot by gender via new NPR/PBS/Marist poll: Men: 44% Republican 43% Democrat Women: 56% Democrat 35% Republican”
Generic ballot by gender via new NPR/PBS/Marist poll:
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) October 26, 2018
Another finding in the poll shows that two-thirds of voters believe that President Trump will be a factor in their vote this year. This is a much higher percentage than those who said in 2014 that then-President Barack Obama would be a factor in their vote.
There is also a gender gap in this area, as 51 percent of women overall said Trump will be a “major” factor in their midterm vote. Among suburban women the number is 54 percent.
Among voters who said Trump will be a “major factor” in their vote, 64 percent said they were more likely to vote Democratic in November and 32 percent said they were more likely to vote Republican.
“This is definitively a national election — with a referendum on Trump,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the survey.
In more good news for Democrats, 47 percent of voters said their opinion of Trump makes them more likely to vote for a Democrat for Congress, while 34 percent said their opinion of Trump makes them more likely to vote for a Republican.
One conclusion we can reach from this data is that Democrats should be happy that Trump is holding rallies all over the country, because these rallies are not helping Republicans in key congressional districts. The more Donald Trump makes the 2018 elections about him, the more it helps the Democrats.
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.