Midterms begin today: 5 sobering stats for the House GOP
As midterm primaries kick into high gear today, here are five signs (all Real Clear Politics averages) that the current headwinds for House Republicans could turn into a throw-out-members wave.
The bottom line: When a party is this badly under water in national sentiment and perception, individual candidates have a hard time distancing or distinguishing themselves. That's why a wave is apparent so early — 182 days before Election Day.
- Congressional job approval: -56% (that is: 73% disapprove, 17% approve).
- Approval of GOP tax cut: -7% (that is: 44% disapprove, 37% approve).
- Direction of the country: -18% (that is: 55% of people think the U.S. is on the wrong track, 37% think the U.S. is headed in the right direction).
- Trump job approval: -8 (that is: 52% disapprove, 44% approve).
- Generic congressional ballot: Democrats +6 (that is: 45% of respondents say they'll vote for Democrats for Congress, 39% say Republicans).
The state of play: Today's primaries are in Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. Per The New York Times' election calendar, there are a number of competitive House races on the line. But much of today's news is likely to focus on the Senate:
- Three of those states have a vulnerable Democratic senator up for re-election (Joe Donnelly, Indiana; Sherrod Brown, Ohio; and Joe Manchin, West Virginia).
- And President Trump has already waded into the West Virginia primary, telling GOP voters that electing demagogic Don Blankenship would guarantee Manchin's re-election.