Democrats' 2018 advantage expands

Democrats' already wide advantage over Republicans in a hypothetical Congressional matchup has grown, according to...

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 6:54 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 6:54 PM

Democrats' already wide advantage over Republicans in a hypothetical Congressional matchup has grown, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. At the same time, enthusiasm about voting next year has increased among Democrats nationwide following an unexpected win in Alabama's Senate special election and a strong showing in Virginia's state government elections last month.

Among registered voters, 56% say they favor a Democrat in their congressional district, while 38% prefer a Republican. That 18-point edge is the widest Democrats have held in CNN polling on the 2018 contests, and the largest at this point in midterm election cycles dating back two decades. The finding follows several other public polls showing large double-digit leads for Democrats on similar questions.

Democrats' enthusiasm for voting in 2018 outpaces Republicans', 49% to 32%

Almost 7 in 10 are dissatisfied, angry with the way things are going in the US

60% have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump

Related: Full poll results

Independent voters favor Democrats by a 16-point margin, 51% to 35%, similar to the 50% to 36% margin by which they favored Democrats in fall of 2005, ahead of Democrats' 2006 recapturing of the House and Senate. The Democrats hold a larger lead overall now because Republicans make up a smaller share of the electorate than they did in 2005.

And those Republicans who are still in the electorate are less enthusiastic about voting next year than Democrats. Overall, 49% of registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress next year, compared with 32% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters who say the same.

The poll was conducted before the passage of Republicans' signature tax reform bill this week, which the GOP hopes will boost their electoral prospects next year. Findings from the same poll released earlier this week found that the bill's unpopularity on the rise, with few expecting tangible benefits for themselves once it becomes law.

The Republican Party itself is viewed less favorably than the Democratic Party. About a third -- 34% -- have a favorable view of the GOP, while 46% say the same about the Democrats, according to the poll. That marks a rebound for Democrats after their favorability ratings sagged earlier this fall and is the highest mark for them since July of 2016. The Republican numbers are also on the rise, but remain below levels reached earlier this year.

The GOP may be further held back by a public displeased and angry with the way the country is being governed under their control. Overall, 68% say they are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, and a matching 68% say they are angry about the way things are going in the country today.

Those numbers are similar to the levels seen in December 2015, ahead of the 2016 presidential election in which voters seeking change propelled Donald Trump to the presidency. But the partisan divides underlying those numbers are now largely reversed.

About two-thirds of Republicans say they're satisfied with the way the nation is being governed now, up from 10% in 2015, when Barack Obama was president and Republicans controlled the Congress. Among Democrats, satisfaction has fallen from 40% to 6%. Independents remain about equally unsatisfied: 25% are now vs. 22% in 2015.

Anger, too, has switched sides, with half of Democrats now saying they are "very angry" about the way things are going in the US, up from 14% in 2015. Among Republicans, deep anger has dipped from 41% in 2015 to 10% now.

And on that change voters were seeking in 2016, most say Trump did bring it: 77% say his presidency has created significant changes in the country, but more say they're for the worse (43%) than for the better (30%). Back in 2009, fewer thought Obama had brought change by November of his first year in office (69%), but by a 40% to 27% margin, they said those changes were for the better rather than the worse.

Trump himself continues to garner deeply negative favorability ratings -- 36% hold a positive view, 60% a negative one -- and his approval rating for handling the economy has reached a new low, despite the White House's frequent touting of the country's economic progress. Overall, 49% disapprove of Trump's handling of the economy, the highest level to say so since he took office, while 44% approve.

House Speaker Paul Ryan's favorability ratings have ticked upward from their low point in mid-September, but he remains net negative, 35% favorable to 45% unfavorable, as midterm elections approach. The Speaker does earn net-positive ratings among his own partisans: 66% have a favorable view, 19% unfavorable. But his numbers lag behind Trump's ratings among the Republican laity, 85% of whom have a positive view of the President.

Ryan has been circumspect in discussing his own political future in the face of a pile of daunting poll numbers, saying in an interview this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America" that "It's not even 2018 yet ... (Running for reelection is) something (my wife and I) haven't discussed yet. Something we'll discuss down the road when the appropriate time comes."

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS December 14-17 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 954230

Reported Deaths: 15474
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1298902003
Lake638781106
Allen54326765
Hamilton44326448
St. Joseph42368592
Elkhart33998491
Vanderburgh30740451
Tippecanoe27012251
Johnson23862420
Hendricks22576343
Porter21943348
Clark17657231
Madison17628387
Vigo16465285
Monroe14637193
LaPorte14493241
Delaware14291225
Howard14058274
Kosciusko11562137
Hancock11022168
Warrick10793179
Bartholomew10730171
Floyd10584209
Wayne10169230
Grant9271206
Morgan9000160
Boone8507112
Dubois7823124
Dearborn776391
Henry7749134
Noble7510101
Marshall7452129
Cass7244118
Lawrence7080154
Shelby6701111
Jackson666386
Gibson6233107
Harrison613287
Huntington608397
Montgomery5903106
DeKalb587591
Knox5589105
Miami554889
Putnam547668
Clinton540566
Whitley534054
Steuben506570
Wabash492792
Jasper487763
Jefferson478992
Ripley463477
Adams448868
Daviess4267109
Scott413065
Clay398358
Greene396892
White396158
Wells393285
Decatur391297
Fayette383380
Posey364341
Jennings358857
Washington336847
LaGrange327375
Spencer323037
Randolph320290
Fountain320156
Sullivan311349
Owen289764
Starke287565
Fulton282356
Orange279259
Jay260038
Perry256353
Carroll247129
Franklin244938
Rush238930
Vermillion237751
Parke222421
Tipton214255
Pike214041
Blackford172934
Pulaski170351
Crawford148519
Newton147046
Benton144716
Brown136646
Martin130618
Switzerland127810
Warren116116
Union99511
Ohio80911
Unassigned0494

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1393696

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1544531574
Cuyahoga1364632341
Hamilton991581326
Montgomery682681161
Summit571661051
Lucas51927869
Butler48223663
Stark42502983
Lorain32263539
Warren30544338
Mahoning27651643
Clermont26123297
Lake24920422
Delaware22656147
Licking20886246
Fairfield20833223
Greene20708275
Trumbull20465516
Medina20236290
Clark18277332
Richland16793236
Portage16501231
Wood16002209
Allen14459261
Miami14091261
Muskingum13019155
Wayne12306244
Columbiana12094242
Tuscarawas11297271
Marion10960150
Pickaway10675129
Scioto10618127
Erie9905171
Ross9685177
Lawrence9005125
Hancock8667143
Ashtabula8533187
Belmont8301188
Geauga8294156
Jefferson7785175
Huron7598131
Union745351
Washington7451126
Athens712965
Sandusky7003135
Darke6906137
Knox6876122
Seneca6551137
Ashland6095115
Auglaize598788
Shelby5867104
Brown579072
Mercer566790
Crawford5603117
Defiance5587101
Madison552571
Highland551782
Fulton544583
Clinton537681
Logan521987
Preble5131111
Putnam4915107
Guernsey489464
Williams471582
Perry466254
Champaign456664
Ottawa444684
Jackson438763
Pike402645
Morrow400551
Coshocton398069
Fayette385253
Adams373675
Hardin369470
Gallia357858
Henry332969
Holmes3328111
Van Wert323271
Hocking312570
Wyandot286858
Carroll268252
Paulding248843
Meigs225542
Monroe193449
Noble174942
Morgan171229
Harrison161941
Vinton143119
Unassigned05
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A weak cold front brings slightly cooler air to the region Tuesday.
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