However, in looking at the NBC/Wall Street Journal polling, it’s still Pelosi, not Ryan who is the most unpopular among independent voters. Pelosi’s favorable/unfavorable score among independent voters in the September NBC/Wall Street Journal poll was 16 percent to 42 percent (-26). Ryan’s was 20 percent to 21 percent (-1). In other words, Pelosi herself is still the bigger and more potent lighting rod among swing voters than Ryan. McConnell, however, was in same league as Pelosi with a favorable/unfavorable rating of 10 percent to 38 percent (-28).

Moreover, Democratic strategists tell me they won’t be shying away from running ads that attack Trump directly, especially in districts that have a more moderate to Democratic lean to them. In those districts, they say, Trump’s toxicity is strong enough to overpower the GOP candidate.