More shrinkage: Democrats' lead on generic ballot dips further to 4.7 points

The news yesterday was that, at 5.2 points, the Dems’ generic-ballot advantage had dwindled to its lowest point of Trump’s presidency. But as encouraging as that was, there were milestones still untouched by the GOP. Yesterday the party was at 40.2 percent on the ballot, tied for its highest mark of the Trump era. But they’d never once inched above that since Inauguration Day.

Until now. As I write this they’re sitting at 40.5 percent, just 4.7 points back of Democrats. If they can knock another point off that lead, they’d probably be narrow favorites to hold the House. And needless to say, they’re heavy favorites right now to hold the Senate.

But you don’t need polling to tell you that. Just look at how red-state Democrats are voting on Gina Haspel, knowing how angry their base will be at them.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that, ah, Trump may be more of a fiscal conservative than Republicans in the House are:

Republican lawmakers are pushing back against President Trump’s request for Congress to cut $15 billion from programs including children’s health insurance and Ebola disaster relief, saying the vote could make them vulnerable to Democratic attacks in this year’s midterm campaign.

“I worry about the messaging the Democrats will be able to do off it,” said Rep. Ryan A. Costello (R-Pa.), voicing a concern shared by numerous other lawmakers. “Those ads write themselves.”

Everything that can be said about why the GOP has been climbing in the polls lately (the economy! North Korea! fewer tweets!) has been said, so in lieu of an exit question, and to put a bow on the news day, go play around with The Upshot’s ingenious “yanny or laurel?” widget. Until I used it I was only able to hear “yanny” in the clip; now I can not only hear “laurel,” but if I start way down towards the “laurel” end of the spectrum and keep adjusting leftward, I keep hearing “laurel” — even if I reach a point where I otherwise hear “yanny” when I’m starting from dead in the middle. It’s a heck of an illusion, almost as good as this “what if the GOP keeps the House?” surge of polling optimism.