Daily Data Point: An Early Read on the 2018 House Elections by Sean Trende
In the wake of underwhelming Republican performances in special elections in Kansas and Georgia, analysts are beginning to wonder if Democrats might take back the House in 2018. The most recent NBC/WSJ poll actually splashes a bit of cold water on this prospect, at least for now. It shows Democrats leading by four percentage points in the generic ballot (which asks whether people would prefer for Republicans or Democrats to control Congress) by a 47 percent to 43 percent margin.
While at first blush this seems encouraging to Democrats, it must be viewed in the context of other years. In 2016, they led on the final ballot in the NBC/WSJ poll by three points, yet Republicans ended up winning control of the House handily. In 2014, the poll showed a tie, yet Republicans won their largest margin in the House since 1928.
We can compare this with years when Democrats did, in fact, take back the House. In 2006, the final NBC/WSJ poll had Democrats up 15 points. In 2008, the final poll had them up 12. Note too that the poll averages in those yearswere substantially more favorable to Democrats than the present poll average.
So for now, Democrats are enjoying some favorable conditions, and good results in some unlikely places. But it doesn’t seem to have translated to the national level just yet.
Generic Congressional Vote According to an NBC/WSJ poll:
47% of Americans would vote for a Democrat in the next House of Representatives election, while