Stirewaltisms: Trump Helps Biden, Again
If the president is so unpopular, why aren’t Republicans polling better?
The good news for Republicans is that they have been rallying in their performance against Democrats in surveys about which party voters would prefer to control Congress after this falls’ midterms.
The bad news is that the rally has brought them back to an advantage of just six-tenths of a point in our average.
As amazing as it seems in this year of punishment and pain for the blue team—a year when the Democratic president is hitting new lows for job approval and economic worries dominate—the generic ballot has never gotten too far out of hand. Democrats actually were nominally ahead for the previous three weeks.
Consider that at this point four years ago, then-President Donald Trump was roughly 11 points underwater, far less than President Biden’s current waterlogged -23.8-point deficit. But Democrats were up about 8 points in the generic ballot then. Or how about 2010, when Biden’s old boss was in similarly dire shape? The Republican advantage on the generic ballot was 5 points high and rising.
So here’s Biden, faring worse with voters, but Republicans are falling short of the performance of the minority parties that Trump and Barack Obama faced. Why?
First, let’s remember that when you see a generic ballot that is basically tied, especially in a midterm year, the advantage belongs to the GOP. Because of the structural benefits Republicans enjoy in Congress as the party of rural America, a tie really adds up to a slight Republican advantage. Put another way, if Biden is even more unpopular than Obama was at this point, why aren’t Republicans dominating in generic-ballot polls like they did in 2010?