Trump is (barely) above water on the economy
A majority thinks Democrats don't stand for anything other than being against Trump
Democrat favorables haven't budged since the 2016 convention
The President’s approval rating has fallen 6 percentage points to the lowest at the six-month mark of any president since the dawn of modern public opinion polling, according to this week’s ABC News/Washington Post poll.
And Democrats lead Republicans when Americans are asked who they would vote for on a generic congressional ballot for 2018.
But it’s certainly not all positive news for the party opposing the White House. While history points to likely Democratic victories in the upcoming midterm elections, the numbers show a few Achilles’ heels that threaten the opportunity.
Here are five poll numbers from this week that should make Democrats a little uneasy about their current situation.
1. Trump is (barely) above water on the economy. A plurality of Americans – 43% – approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published Sunday. A close 41% disapprove. Meanwhile, the US economy continues to improve, with 222,000 new jobs in June, and the unemployment rate is hovering near full employment at 4.4 percent.
2. A majority thinks Democrats don’t stand for anything other than being against Trump. Only 37% of Americans say the Democratic Party “stands for something,” while 52% say it just stands against Trump, according to the same ABC News/Washington Post poll. It comes at a time when Democrats are left without a clear figurehead and many, both inside and outside of the party, have criticized its leaders for lack of a clear message.
3. Midterm numbers show a potential soft spot for Democrats. There’s a lot of time left before the 2018 midterms roll around, but poll questions used to estimate voter turnout aren’t a slam dunk for Democrats at this point. The difference between people who say they are casting their midterm ballot to oppose Trump and people casting their midterm ballot to support Trump is 4 points – compared to 10 points opposing former President Barack Obama in 2014 and 14 points opposing former President George W. Bush in 2006, according to the ABC/Post poll. And voter enthusiasm is virtually identical for both pro-Trump and anti-Trump forces.
4. Democrat favorables haven’t budged since the 2016 conventions. Americans’ perceptions of the Democratic Party have remained virtually the same for the last 12 months – underwater. Forty-eight percent of Americans have a negative view of the Democrats right now, according to a Bloomberg News poll released Tuesday. That’s compared to 49% in December and 47% last August. And while that’s not as bad as their Republican counterparts, it’s far from a positive sign for the party that lost the 2016 presidential race.
5. Trump supporters aren’t going anywhere. It appears Trump supporters are just as on board as they were during the campaign. His support among Republicans matches the third-highest approval among a president’s own party during a new president’s first six months in more than 60 years, according to Gallup. Plus, 75%of people living in counties that fuel Trump’s base approve of his bargaining with Carrier and General Motors to keep jobs in the US, according to a NBC/WSJ poll from Tuesday. What do a majority Trump supporters dislike? His use of Twitter.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted from July 10-13 among 1,001 adults. It has a margin of error of ±3.5 percentage points. The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll was conducted from July 8-12 among 600 adults. It has a margin of error of ±4.0 points. The Bloomberg News poll was conducted from July 8-12 among 1,001 adults. It has a margin of error of ±3.1 points.