SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

CNN poll: Democratic advantages grow ahead of 2018 midterms

Democrats once again hold a wide advantage in a generic congressional matchup, according to a ...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 4:53 AM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 4:53 AM

Democrats once again hold a wide advantage in a generic congressional matchup, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, backed by a base of supporters who are more enthusiastic than Republican partisans and more motivated by core issues.

The poll finds 54% of registered voters say they back a Democrat in their congressional district, 38% say they back a Republican. That's a shift in favor of the Democrats since January, bringing their advantage in a hypothetical generic matchup to about the same level as early 2006, a year in which the party won control of both the House and the Senate.

Read the full poll results

This also mirrors their advantage on the question last fall, before a January full of good economic news brought a shift toward more positive numbers for both President Donald Trump and his party. The same poll also found Trump's approval rating declining -- a metric that's frequently closely tied to his party's performance in a midterm election year.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents remain more enthusiastic about voting this fall than Republicans and Republican-leaners. Overall, 51% of that Democratic base say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in November compared with 41% of the Republican base.

The poll also suggests that the issues on which Republicans have largely pinned their electoral hopes -- the economy, taxes and immigration -- are carrying less weight with voters than are health care and gun policy -- two issues where the Democrats typically have stronger backing from the public overall.

Health care and gun policy are deemed deeply important by about half of voters (53% and 49%, respectively, call them extremely important), while about four in 10 say they are as motivated by the economy (43%) and immigration (38%). Sexual harassment is a sharp motivator for 36% of voters. Taxes, an issue Republicans have said will move voters as they realize the benefits of the tax changes passed last year, is extremely important for 35%. The investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election rounds out the list, with just about a quarter (26%) calling that extremely important to their vote.

There are wide partisan gaps on how important several issues are to voters, with Democratic voters more likely to say they are particularly moved by health care (65%, vs 40% among Republicans), gun policy (62%, vs. 40% among Republicans), sexual harassment (50%, vs. 21% of Republicans) and immigration (48%, vs. 32% among Republicans).

Republican voters, however, are not significantly more motivated than Democrats on any issue tested, suggesting that more positive views of the economy and the GOP's success in enacting tax reform, which may have been boosting their numbers in January, may be less strong a motivator for the party's voters this fall than are the issues where Democrats have focused their opposition to the Republican-led government for that party's base.

Gun policy in particular has increased dramatically in salience compared with the previous midterm election cycle. In October 2014, ahead of the first election after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, just 28% of voters described that issue as extremely important to their congressional vote. Now, 49% say the same. The numbers have risen across party lines, but most dramatically among Democrats. In 2014, 31% of Republican voters called gun policy extremely important to their vote. Now, 40% do. Among independents, it's risen from 27% to 42%. And among Democrats, that share has climbed a whopping 34 points from 28% to 62%. Overall, those who call the issue a critical one for their vote are supporters of stricter gun laws by an 80% to 19% margin.

Many voters also say their votes may be swayed by the types of donations a candidate accepts on gun policy. Asked whether a donation from the National Rifle Association would dissuade them or encourage them to support a candidate for Congress from their own district, 45% say they'd be less apt to support a candidate who accepted an NRA donation, 14% more likely, and 39% say it wouldn't make a difference. The effect is sharpest among Democrats, 80% of whom say they'd be less inclined to back such a candidate.

On the other side of the coin, 37% say a donation from a group advocating for stricter gun laws, such as Everytown for Gun Safety, would make them more apt to back that candidate, 26% would be less likely to support a candidate who accepted such a donation and 34% say it wouldn't move their vote.

It is early in the cycle, however, and much can change between now and November. Past polling suggests increases in concern about gun policy seen in surveys conducted shortly after mass shootings often fades over time.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS February 20-23 among a random national sample of 1,016 adults, including 909 registered voters, reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, it is 3.9 points for registered voters and larger for subgroups.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108736

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287201467
Cuyahoga1157922211
Hamilton813971250
Montgomery525481043
Summit484271001
Lucas43353820
Butler39013606
Stark33332929
Lorain25672505
Warren24591303
Mahoning22370603
Lake21207388
Clermont20117253
Delaware18852136
Licking16662222
Fairfield16574204
Trumbull16548482
Medina15610271
Greene15281248
Clark14237306
Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11913239
Richland11605211
Miami10849225
Wayne9141223
Columbiana9032230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8663122
Tuscarawas8649250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7160179
Hancock6998132
Ross6944161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584549
Lawrence5731102
Jefferson5678158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5348128
Washington5319109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4571112
Madison444266
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432074
Crawford4037110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3855105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359665
Williams348278
Champaign344759
Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin275265
Henry273467
Holmes2701101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240650
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85517
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Strong to severe storms move through Sunday evening to early Monday morning. Showers and a few storms are likely on Monday.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events