Civitas released a poll this week that shows Democrats favored heading into the midterm elections. The poll was done before the hurricane hit and before the Kavanaugh hearings. I suspect the political environment has changed since then. However, it’s probably gotten worse for Republicans, not better.
The poll shows Democrats with a six point lead in the generic legislative ballot and a seven point lead in the generic Congressional ballot. Donald Trump’s job approval rating is underwater with 45% approving and 53% disapproving.
The Democratic advantage is driven by a yawning gender gap and unaffiliated voters. Women prefer Democrats by 19 points and unaffiliated voters break for them by 15 points. I suspect that the Kavanaugh hearings will drive more women into the Democratic camp.
The poll also illustrates that the Jessiecrats (or Reagan Democrats) are still alive. Virtually all registered Republicans support the Republican candidates but 11% of the registered Democrats support the Republican candidate, too. For years, Democrats could expect defection of up to 20%. Today, those Jessiecrats are quickly dying out. They won’t be replaced, so the Democratic registration advantage will continue to shrink and reflect reality.
The most surprising numbers in the poll, though, had to do with the Supreme Court race. While political junkies have been watching it more closely, most people haven’t paid that much attention. Still, Democrat Anita Earls holds a whopping 27 point lead over Republican incumbent Barbara Jackson. Earls has consolidated her base. Seventy-one percent of Democrats back Earls while only 25% of Republicans back Jackson. Still, Earls leads among unaffiliated voters by 32 points.
Voters clearly want a Democrat on the court. I suspect they want some accountability in a state and nation governed mainly by Republicans. Jackson could make up the margin but the gap is growing and Earls will have the money to communicate and will benefit from Democratic motivation.
The Blue Wave is still out there. It could certainly dissipate before the election. GOP voters could get more motivated. Undecided voters could break for Republicans but, right now, the election looks to heavily favor Democrats.