The generic ballot revisited

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This month’s Fox News poll shows a tightening of the generic ballot question. In this latest poll, Republicans trail Democrats 46%-41%. That’s down from October, 2017, when Democrats led the generic ballot question 50%-35%.

Another poll question that should work in the Republicans’ favor asks “Compared to this time last year, do you feel more optimistic or less optimistic for the coming year about each of the following?” On their personal happiness, 60% were more optimistic with only 22% saying less optimistic. On “Your family’s financial situation”, 51% said that they’re more optimistic while 32% were less optimistic.

Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the poll with Democrat Chris Anderson, said “Just winning the popular national vote is not enough to flip the House. Given the GOP’s districting advantages, data from 2012 and 2014 show the Democrats need an edge of at least five points to bring the majority into play.”

Another thing working in Republicans’ favor is President Trump’s approval rating, which sits at 45%. By comparison, President Trump’s approval rating in October was 38%. At that point, Republicans trailed in the generic ballot question by 15 points, 50%-35%.

One thing that will hurt Republicans a bit is their voting for the latest budget deal. The grass roots aren’t happy with that. That being said, something is working in their favor, which is the quality of the parties’ closing arguments. Republicans should highlight morning, noon and night the fact that every Democrat in the House and every Democrat in the Senate voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts that got the economy soaring and that provided pay raises and bonuses. Reinforce the fact that people’s paychecks are fatter, too. Reinforce the fact that families won’t get penalized for not buying health insurance they couldn’t afford because Republicans eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate, too.

This is positive news for Republicans. There’s still many months to go but things are improving.