Will President Trump’s low approval ratings have a decisive adverse effect on the Republican party’s chances of holding on to control of the House in this year’s midterm elections? It certainly seems so at this point.
Political calculations can change about as quickly as the news.
Just look at last week: The news that a speaker of the House announced his retirement, and a Robert Mueller Russia investigation that keeps ensnaring people close to the president, were drowned out temporarily when President Trump announced a military strike against Syria.
But barring deeper involvement in Syria, the midterm calculus remains the same — Democrats have a distinct advantage at this point.
That’s true for several reasons — and it was highlighted by data from the Pew Research Center presented at a National Press Club panel last week for Washington embassy staffers from various countries (at which your author was a panelist).
The Pew presentation set the backdrop for the midterms well. It drew on interviews from multiple recent Pew surveys, and also looked at ones from 2017 with the same questions. In other words, it considered a lot of people’s responses, much more than one typical poll.
More than anything, it seems, President Trump himself is the dynamic behind Democrats’ advantages “in their quest to take back the House. First and foremost, the president’s low approval ratings. It’s been a chaotic start to the Trump presidency, and yet his approval ratings have remained steady, steadily low.”
However, a lot depends on whether Democrats can convince “young voters and non-whites” to turn out and vote. They “make up an increasingly larger share of the Democratic Party.”