Because of Republican gerrymandering, it is widely believed that Democrats need an advantage of approximately six percent in the national popular vote if they are to win control of the House of Representatives.
But according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, Democrats are leading Republicans by 17 points on the generic ballot. This is the highest percentage of any poll taken all year, and it is sending shockwaves through Washington. This is a highly-regarded poll that people pay attention to. And if these new numbers are correct the predictions of a Blue Tsunami election in favor of Democrats will come true.
The new survey, conducted over the past week, found that 57 percent of likely voters said they plan to cast their ballots for Democrats in the November 6 midterm elections, compared with just 40 percent who said they plan to vote for Republican candidates.
The poll also found higher levels of enthusiasm among Democrats, with 52 percent saying they will vote in the midterms, while only 42 percent of Republicans said the same.
The timing of the survey is such that it was conducted before, during and after over a dozen pipe bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump. The final day of polling was last Saturday, when 11 people were killed during a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
This poll may be evidence that Americans not only possibly blame the president for the violence, but they also blame other members of the ruling Republican Party.
In early October there appeared to be a “Kavanaugh Effect” which gave Republicans a bump in their approval ratings, but that seems to have completely disappeared. Democrats are increasingly confident about taking back control of the House. Gaining control of the Senate, however, seems like a longshot. The existence of a massive Democratic victory could change that, however.
The statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight now is showing Democrats with an 86 percent chance of winning control of the House, but only a 17 percent chance of taking the Senate.
Other recent polls have shown Democrats leading the GOP by single digits on the generic ballot.
Democrats need to pick up just 23 seats in the House to win the majority, but if they win the national popular vote by 17 points they would probably gain at least 50 seats.
The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll gained fame and notoriety when it was the only major poll that correctly predicted a Donald Trump victory in the 2016 presidential election. That is why few people are ignoring these new results now. If they are correct in their assessment of the generic congressional ballot then Republicans should be very, very worried.
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.