WaPo Poll: Thanks to Trump, Dems Are Way Ahead

I consider the generic congressional ballot something of a black art, but everyone else obsesses over it so I suppose I might as well too. Here’s the latest from the Washington Post/ABC poll:

In this poll, Democrats are ahead by 14 points. That’s not bad. I typically remove three or four points from the Democratic number just because I think people are more likely to claim they want a Democratic Congress even when they don’t. That gets me to around 49-41, an 8-point difference. Then I subtract a net five points from the difference because that’s the margin Democrats need these days just to break even on Election Day. So that gets us to 46-44, and by chance that happens to fit my gut feel at the moment. It’s a bit of a pessimistic read, and the funny thing is that I’m less pessimistic about Democrats screwing things up than I usually am. Still, if you asked me for my take on Democrats controlling the House in 2019, I’d say it’s pretty close to even right now.

But then again, there’s also this:

There’s no time series for this question, so I don’t know how it compares to past polls. What’s more, the generic ballot (“How are you going to vote?”) is generally more predictive than a fuzzy question like this one (“How do you want everybody else to vote?”). Still 30 points is a lot. This question is worded as a referendum on Donald Trump, and that may be the tailwind that pushes the generic ballot in a blue direction. Put these two poll questions together, and I’m less pessimistic: I’m now willing to believe that Dems might win 54 percent of the popular vote and something like 230 seats. As it happens, that’s almost precisely what 538 is projecting right now. So things are looking pretty good for Dems, and if Trump keeps getting loopier between now and November, Dems might even pull off an epic wave. Maybe.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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