President Trump’s approval rating has dipped into treacherous territory for his party, fueling an eye-popping lead for Democrats on the generic House ballot question, according to a pair of new national surveys from reputable pollsters.
Trump’s job approval rating is down to 38 percent, with 54 percent of registered voters disapproving of the job he’s doing in two separate polls released Wednesday morning, the first conducted by Quinnipiac University and the other conducted by Marist College for NPR.
Those numbers fuel a double-digit lead for Democrats on the generic ballot in both surveys. If that holds for the fall elections, it’s all but certain that Democrats will retake the House — and they could have a real shot at the Senate, a scenario that seemed unlikely even weeks ago.
Marist finds that Democrats have a whopping 12-point lead in the generic congressional ballot, with 50 percent of registered voters planning to back a Democrat to just 38 percent who will back a Republican. Quinnipiac’s numbers are even better for Democrats, with a 52 percent to 38 percent split in their favor.
Those numbers are slightly better for Democrats than some other recent surveys, and both pollsters have produced numbers that are a bit more positive for Democrats than other reputable pollsters this election cycle. Individual race polling has looked good overall for Democrats in recent weeks, but not quite as rosy as these national numbers would indicate.
But seven of the last eight reputable national surveys have found Trump with a double-digit gap in his favorability rating, and Democrats’ lead in the generic congressional ballot has steadily risen over the last two weeks. Democrats’ lead currently stands at 8.4 percent in RealClearPolitics’ polling average, above the 7 percent threshold that most strategists in both parties believe is the mark Democrats need to hit to have a strong shot at winning back the House.
Trump’s approval rating, which had remained steady for most of the past six months, began to slide in most surveys in late August following a tumultuous month for the president that ended in two of his former top deputies being found guilty by the courts. RealClearPolitics’ polling average finds Trump underwater at 40.7 approval, 53.6 disapproval, the worst numbers he’s had since mid-March.
Poll numbers go up and down in response to the news of the day and statistical noise. But if election day comes and Trump is in as bad shape as he appears to be currently, Republicans could be facing an even worse walloping in the midterms than most experts have expected.