The Democratic Party has been anticipating that a “blue wave” of their voters will wash into the polls for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, swirling blue congressmen into the houses of power while sucking hapless red congressmen out into the Potomac.
Historically, the party not in power often does capture the majority in the U.S. House or Senate during the midterm elections of a president’s first term in office. And many political pundits on both sides of the aisle believe the blue wave is building, including opinion writer Philip Wegmann for the right-center Washington Examiner, who says a Democrat takeover is “inevitable.”
But a new poll by Reuters, a London-based news agency similar to the Associated Press, has shown a startling switch in the numbers of U.S. voters willing to vote for a Republican versus a Democrat.
Asked who they would vote for if the elections were held today, 40.7% of survey respondents said they’d cast their ballot for a Republican congressman while only 34.5% said they’d check the box for a Democrat. The remaining 24.8% were undecided or favored a third-party candidate.
That’s a huge switch from any time over the past 12 months. Since May of last year, Democrat favorability has always been higher than Republican. Last December, for instance, 46.7% of voters wanted a Democrat versus just 32.2% who wanted a Republican.
But since mid-April, with peace talks in the works with North Korea, the U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem, President Trump’s push for lower prescription drug prices, an 11-year high in optimism in America, and the economy closing in on a record period of growth, Democrat support has taken a nose dive while Republican support has shot high into the air.
Will the GOP spike hold? No one could know, but Wegmann of the Examiner believes that if the Democrats do gain seats in the House, it won’t be a catastrophic loss for Republicans.
“Overconfidence could cause Democrats to blunder away their enthusiasm gap,” Wegmann explained. “The party is so hopped up about 2018 that also they risk turning the ideological dial too far in the progressive direction.”