November 9, 2017

AND THIS IS HIS HIGH WATER MARK:

Bad News For House Republicans: Clinton Won't Be On The Ballot In 2018 (Harry Enten, 7/24/17, 538)

[M]idterm elections are different from those that take place in presidential election years. And midterm elections that take place with an unpopular president in office are very different from presidential election years that have two historically unpopular candidates at the top of the major-party tickets.

Republican congressional candidates in 2016 may not have gotten much help from Trump, but they got a big boost from someone else: Hillary Clinton. Clinton, it's easy to forget, was only modestly more popular than Trump. According to Gallup, Clinton had the second-worst unfavorable rating of any major-party presidential candidate in modern history, behind only Trump. In the 2016 exit polls, 55 percent of voters had an unfavorable view of Clinton.

Clinton's unpopularity turned out to be a key factor in 2016 congressional races. Unsurprisingly, people who had a favorable view of Clinton primarily voted for Democrats in House races, while people with a favorable view of Trump primarily voted for Republican candidates. But among the 19 percent of voters who had an unfavorable view of both presidential candidates, House Republican candidates won by a margin of 30 percentage points. (Some voters may have cast a ballot for a Republican House candidate in the belief that a House controlled by the GOP would balance Clinton's power after what most Americans thought would be a Clinton win.)

Next year, though, Clinton won't be on the ballot (although Trump continues to tweet about her). That could be a big problem for House Republican candidates, especially if Trump remains unpopular. That's because realistically, the only way for Democrats to take back the House is to run up huge margins among voters who don't like Trump.

In part because of Clinton's unpopularity, Democrats in 2016 won among voters who had an unfavorable view of Trump by only 50 percentage points. That may seem like a lot, but Democrats will need to do much better if they want to take back the House. Based on Trump's current approval rating, House Democratic candidates probably need to win Trump disapprovers by something close to a 70- or 75-point margin in 2018.1

Two surveys conducted this spring by SurveyMonkey for FiveThirtyEight suggest that Democrats may get the margin they need among Trump disapprovers to take back the House.

'Winning' Isn't Winning : If the American electorate continues to have a low opinion of the president, then Republicans should calculate that drag into their electoral expectations. (Kevin D. Williamson, November 8, 2017, National Review)

So, here's the math: Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, won nine out of ten votes among Virginians who approve of President Donald Trump. He lost nine out of ten votes among those who disapprove. He lost by nine points.

Trump's approval rating in Virginia is 42 percent. His approval rating nationally is lower than that -- about 38 percent. Trump partisans like to sneer at opinion polling and proffer the cliché that the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

Virginia governor-elect Ralph Northam, a Democrat, surely agrees.

Posted by at November 9, 2017 7:29 AM

  

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