The reasons for this turnaround are various and go beyond the shrinking of the enthusiasm gap between the parties (before the Kavanaugh nomination, Democratic voters were more enthusiastic). The WSJ/NB poll shows President Trump with a 47 percent job approval, his highest rating yet as president. At the same time, 43 percent of registered voters say Republicans handle the economy better versus only 28 percent who pick Democrats. That’s the largest lead on that question the GOP has ever had in the WSJ/NBC poll.
In the aftermath of a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, Republicans also are favored by voters on trade, by 17 percentage points. Democrats have an equally large advantage when it comes to health care, where they have an 18-point advantage. When asked what their most important issue is, 38 percent of voters said the economy and 31 percent said health care.
The Kavanaugh hearings apparently took a negative toll on the image of Democrats. In September, Democrats had a 44 percent favorability rating, while Republicans were at 38 percent. Post-Kavanaugh, Democratic favorability has fallen nine points to 35 percent while the GOP has held even at 38 percent. It’s been years since the GOP had any advantage in polls on that question.