Moreover, Democrats hold huge leads among millennials (59 to 29 percent), women (57 to 34 percent), whites with a college degree (55 to 42 percent), independents (48 to 36 percent) and older voters (52 to 41 percent) The older voter numbers are especially problematic because older voters turn out in higher numbers in midterms than other groups and because this was previously a base of President Trump’s support (Trump won over-65 voters by a margin of 52 to 47 percent on Election Day while Republican House candidates won this group by a 53 to 45 percent margin.)
Even among groups in which the GOP leads, the GOP margin has shriveled in comparison with Trump’s Election Day numbers. The GOP leads among men by only 3 points (47 to 44 percent) in contrast with Trump’s 52 to 41 percent margin on Election Day. Even among whites with no college degree, whom Trump won by a huge margin (66 to 29 percent) and Republican House candidates won 66 to 31 percent, the GOP lead is down to 11 points (50 to 39 percent). It is only among self-described Republicans where Republicans dominate. That makes perfect sense in a way since the GOP has been governing on taxes, immigration, regulation, health care, etc. — like the whole country is CPAC.
Throw in the three to five seats Democrats are likely to pick up in Pennsylvania thanks to the court-ordered redistricting and it is looking rather bleak for Republicans.
There are a few takeaways here.
First, while Trump’s approval is low, the GOP’s leadership is worse, making them an inviting target for Democrats. Just as Republicans like to run against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), it might be time to start making House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) the poster boy for irresponsible governance, disregard of the middle class (the tax plan was largely his baby) and refusal to check the executive branch.
That leads to the second key point: There is an honest argument to be made that Trump would be a better president with a Democratic Congress. His conflicts and corruption would be curtailed, his nominees would have to be of higher quality to get through and infrastructure and immigration deals certainly could get done.
Finally, you say, “But Democrats will drag us through impeachment!” Frankly, we don’t know that. It depends on what Robert S. Mueller finds, when the results of his investigation are public (why impeach Trump a year before he’s going anyway) and whether Democrats conclude it is in their best interest to run against a wounded Trump in 2020 rather than set up a partisan divide that will make today’s political environment seem like a love-fest. We can, however, be fairly certain that these Republicans will never take serious action against Trump no matter what. Reelecting Republicans to majorities in both houses is a green light for Trump to fire Mueller, double down on his extreme agenda and whack away at our democratic institutions and norms.