That’s the good news. The bad news? Views of the GOP are even lower and have been for months.
Let’s accentuate the positive, though. Here’s what happens when you rig a primary against your base’s favorite candidate.
Only 37% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Democrats, down from 44% in March of this year. A majority, 54%, have an unfavorable view, matching their highest mark in polls from CNN and SSRS, CNN/ORC and CNN/USA Today/Gallup stretching back to 1992.
The rating includes low favorable ratings from some core Democratic groups, including nonwhites (48%) and people under 35 years old (33%). The numbers come amid recent feuds and divisions in the Democratic Party, as former interim chair Donna Brazile’s new book has unveiled new questions about infighting during the 2016 presidential campaign…
Overall, 36% of registered voters who identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year, down from 44% who said so in September. That puts Democratic enthusiasm on par with that of Republicans, which stands at 37%.
Scroll through the history of CNN surveys and you’ll see that polling below 40 percent is very rare air for Democrats. It’s old hat for Republicans, who’ve been bouncing around between the high 30s and low 40s for more than a decade, but the Dems had never seen the 30s until last November, 10 days after the election, when the party’s dismal performance dropped it to 39 percent overall. Before then it was rare for them to fall below 43-44 percent. Now they’re at 37, down seven points in just eight months. The DNC clusterfark at Bernie Sanders’s expense is a big deal, more so than maybe any of us realize. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a Republican civil war given the noise generated by anti-Trumpers in conservative media, but anti-Trumpers are a negligible faction of the GOP overall. Sanders fans are not a negligible faction of Democrats. Tom Perez has a major mess to clean up before the midterms.
Even so, Republican governance has been so pitiful this year that Dems remain comfortably ahead on the generic ballot:
Views of the Democratic Party may be in free fall but GOP paralysis in Congress has actually helped Dems pad their generic-ballot lead over the past seven months. This new one from CNN makes four polls conducted over the few weeks that have found Dems ahead by double digits, in fact, an ominous note for 2018 at a moment when the economy’s performing well. PPP had Democrats up 10, ABC News/WaPo and CNN had them up 11, and Fox News had them up a shocking 15 points. The only glimmer of hope for Republicans comes from this ABC data about potential turnout:
Among voters who say they’re certain to vote this year *and* who dragged themselves to the polls for the last midterms, the Democrats’ advantage all but disappears. As the civil war on the left rages on, depressed turnout among liberals could be Republicans’ saving grace. Just don’t forget that 2014 was a red wave, with Republicans inspired to turn out by several more dismal years of the Obama presidency. As such, a poll taken now that factors 2014 turnout into predicting which party’s voters are apt to show up will be a bit more favorable for Republicans than you might expect. The question is, do we anticipate further wave-like turnout for GOPers next fall or, per historical tradition, is it the out-party’s disgruntled voters who are more likely to show up? If the latter, I’m not sure what the 2014 polling here gets you except inflated expectations that things won’t be as bad as they’re likely to be.
In lieu of an exit question, go watch Democrats and their friends in the media demonstrate the common touch for which they’re justly famous by sneering at “thoughts and prayers” after the Texas shooting in lieu of aggressive gun control.