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Analysis: 4 GOP Polls Show Ds With 3–6 Point Leads — It’s A New, Bluer Election
Dozens of polls including several important Republicans ones now show Dems with a lead in the 2022 elections. It’s a new, bluer election.
For this week’s election update we’ve averaged the Congressional Generic results of 26 polls taken since Roe ended on June 24th and found Democrats leading 44.5% to 41.9%, +2.6 points. That’s a 4–5 point shift from where the election was in mid-June.
Notably, 4 influential Republican polls released over the past week show significant leads for Democrats in the 2022 election:
Americans for Prosperity 42–39 (+3)
Echelon Insights 48–44 (+4)
Chamber of Commerce 46–41 (+5)
Winning The Issues 47–41 (+6)
The 2.6 point Dem lead (and 3 to 6 pts in this GOP polling) is significant for it’s believed that Democrats will need at least a 2 point national win to keep the House. A new Morning Consult poll finds independent voters swinging from +3 GOP in May to +8 Dem today, an 11 (!!!!) point swing. The Economist/YouGov poll moved from +3 Dem last week to +6 this week. All this data suggests that the Democrats have a real shot at keeping both chambers this fall, as Senate polling also remains remarkably favorable for Democrats. Ongoing GOP underperformance in the three GOP held Senate seats of OH, PA and WI continues to be one of 2022’s most important stories. In retrospect the big Dem overperformance in the NE House special right after Roe ended appears to have been a harbinger that a new, bluer election was at hand, and should not have been treated as some weird outlier. It was after all actual voters voting, not a poll.
Our current 2022 election toplines:
Dems are up in the generic by 2 points or so. The race has moved 4–5 points towards Democrats in recent weeks. The anti-MAGA majority has been awakened
The Senate is now leaning Dem, chances of Dems keeping the House rising
Lots of signs of GOP underperformance now, and the landscape is likely to get worse for GOP in coming months
Democratic candidates have huge cash advantage heading into the final 4 months
In November of 2021 we published a memo, Memo: 3 Reasons Why 2022 Won’t Be 2010, that posited the GOP’s embrace of MAGA would make it likely that 2022 would not be a traditional midterm and Democrats could end up overperforming expectations. In May we predicted that the combination of a return of mass shootings, the ending of Roe and the fallout from the Jan 6th Committee would reawaken the anti-MAGA majority and make this election much closer than many thought possible. In mid-June we released an election analysis which argued we were already looking at a competitive not a wave election — that there were signs of what we call the MAGA hangover (GOP underperformance) even before Roe ended. Then Roe ended, and NDN has been at the national forefront of charting what is now clearly a new, bluer election.
We’ve put together our electoral work over the past few months into a 20 minute data-filled presentation, “A New, Bluer Election.” You can watch it here. We also rolled out an updated version of With Democrats Things Get Better, our in-depth look at how the two US parties have fared over the past 30 years. You can learn more and watch here.
In recent weeks our election has analysis has been cited in articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Peter Nicholas on the NBC News site, Susan Milligan in US News, Nicholas Riccardi in the AP, Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast, John Skolnick in Salon, AB Stoddard in The Bulwark, Peter Weber in The Week and Dick Polman in his nationally syndicated column. Simon has done two in-depth discussions of our electoral thesis with Matt Lewis on his podcast and with Ian Masters for his radio show/podcast. Joe Trippi discusses our analysis in his newest That Trippi Show podcast and we appreciate this shoutout from DNC Chair Jaime Harrison!
A front page Washington Post story on the 2022 election by Michael Scherer, Coby Itkowitz and Josh Dawsey features this quote from Simon: “The question is, are there forces in the election more powerful than the disappointment in Biden?” asked Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic strategist. “The answer is yes, and that is opposition and fear for MAGA, which is the thing that has driven the last two elections.” Ron Brownstein also gives our big argument serious consideration in a new and comprehensive CNN analysis. Greg Sargent devotes a whole column to our analysis, “Meet the Lonely Democrat Who Thinks His Party Can Win.” This one is a particularly good read. Kristian Ramos has a new take in Salon that includes our work, and comes down where we come down — time for Dems to go on offense now.
Importantly, the idea that we are in a new election now has begun to take hold in national commentary. Two of the country’s most influential election analysts, Nate Cohn of the NYTimes and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, have joined this may be a-competitive-election-after-all camp. Nate Cohn’s article was called “A Surprisingly Tight Race.” In his column Nate Silver wrote “as voters have gathered more information about the race, they have drawn more of a distinction between how they feel about Biden and what they’d like to see happen in Congress. Maybe this trend will reverse itself. But the “fundamentalists” — the analysts who think the races for Congress are predictable based on presidential approval and other baseline conditions — have been wrong so far.” This past Saturday morning the headline on Fox News read: “Democrats closing the gap with GOP as midterms near.” The Cook Political Report has revised its House forecast citing a more favorable environment for Democrats.
As I discuss in the Greg Sargent column, another big piece of the strategic context for the 2022 election — the economy and inflation — has started to go through a profound and potentially electorally significant change. Gas prices have dropped 75 cents in the few weeks and are dropping now 2–3 cents a day, every day. This means that the huge psychological and economic effects of rising prices will certainly ease in the coming months. It gives Democrats an opening to get louder and broaden out the economic conversation to include their achievements — very strong recovery, big job gains, record new businesses formed, historically low uninsured/unemployment rates, infrastructure investments, etc. And it will create more room for Democratic candidates to make the indictment of their opponents as too extreme, too MAGA.
As we’ve been saying opposition to MAGA has been the driving force of the last two elections (6.5 pt Dem wins in 2018/2020, Dems win the House, Senate, Presidency) and with mass shootings, the end of Roe and fanatical abortion restrictions, a radicalized Supreme Court, extremist/terrible candidates, an unfolding criminal conspiracy involving dozens of top Republican officials to overturn an election it is now likely to be the most powerful force in this election as well. When the Republicans chose to run towards a politics the country had just rejected in record numbers twice, the GOP made the political physics of this election different from a traditional midterm. It’s our view that as of today the Senate is likely to stay in Democratic hands; a pickup of a 1–2–3 Senate seats by Dems not impossible; and Democrats are likely to outperform expectations in the House now. Will it be enough for Democrats to keep the House? It’s pretty clear that Dems have a shot now, particularly with the fundraising advantages our candidates hold in key incumbent Senate and House races.
A few more 2022 notes:
Dem candidates with big cash advantage in the home stretch — 2nd quarter fundraising data finds Democratic candidates with huge cash advantages over Republicans in Congressional races. More evidence this is a competitive not a wave election.
Hard to find a Republican at or above 50 — As I wrote in an earlier version of this analysis, it’s just hard to find a public poll with a Republican in potentially competitive race a strong position. As we saw in our May Hispanic polling, what you see almost everywhere you look — IA, MI, NE, OH, PA, TX, WI — is GOP underperformance. I call this the MAGA hangover. Since Trump won the nomination in 2016 Republicans have not gotten higher than 47% of the national vote, and current data suggests that they are struggling to break above that this time too. A strong and durable anti-MAGA majority really may have emerged in America, one which could keep the Rs from power — as long as they remain MAGA — for years to come.
In current polling Abbott (TX), Rubio (FL), Grassley (IA), Johnson (WI) are all under 50, and OZ (PA) and Vance (OH) are closer to 40 than 50 in GOP held Senate seats. If this was such a good GOP year why aren’t we seeing better GOP numbers? Why are their candidates struggling to raise money? There are far more signs of GOP weakness out there right now than strength.
Guns/Gay Marriage — GOP embracing gun safety and gay marriage is a sign that Republicans are not comfortable with where they are in the 2022 election, and had to make huge concessions to Democrats on issues that matter to them.
NDN Not Seeing Hispanic Erosion — In a new thread NDN lays out why we are skeptical of the Hispanic erosion narrative. In FL yes. TX maybe. In the rest of the US not seeing it. A reminder that if we were seeing a big shift of Hispanics towards the GOP we would be seeing it in statewide polls in states like AZ, CO, NV, TX. And in all those states Dem numbers are holding, or are even better than 2020.
It’s a new, bluer election.