As the midterm elections approach quickly, political strategists are busy making their predictions about the possible outcomes.
Republicans have had several recent wins in the last year, including the tax plan. Not to mention, the unemployment rate has hit an all-time low at below 4 percent.
This has helped President Donald Trump's approval rating recently, but the rating is still under 50 percent, so could the midterm elections halt the GOP from making progress?
Trump's approval rating is currently around 42 percent. His rating among Republicans is at 87 percent, 35 percent among independents, and it's at about 7 percent among Democrats.
But some political strategists are arguing that Trump's approval rating is undervalued.
"Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster, is one of them. “There’s a lot of stuff going on that we just haven’t seen before,” he said," writes The Washington Post. "Newhouse sent along a chart that compares four previous wave elections: 1994, 2006, 2010 and 2014. In all cases, the percentage of people who, at the time of the election, said the country was heading in the right direction was just below 30. By his measure, it’s currently 39 percent. “Can you have a wave election if ‘right direction’ is 38 or 40 percent?” he said. “Is that possible?”
With that in mind, Newhouse thinks Trump's approval rating is actually higher.
“It ought to be 10 points or eight points higher,” said Newhouse. “There’s no precedent for a president since 1980 of having approval six to seven points above ‘right direction.’ None.”
Democrats, on the other hand, are arguing that the public finds the recent political landscape unpredictable and this will work in their favor.
“The level of anxiety around Trump, the desperation for change, is palpable,” said pollster Geoff Garin, who is confident about the Democratic wins come November. " I don’t think national polls can capture this organic, bottom-up."
The Cook Political Report has recently predicted that Republicans may have some difficulty in securing more seats in November.
"In July 2017, the Cook team said the number of Republican districts rated as toss-up or worse was just eight. By January of this year, there were 20 GOP districts at most risk. Its most recent rating showed that number now at 30," writes The Washington Post. "Those numbers exclude districts rated as leaning in one direction or another, which also have moved against Republicans. By comparison, the number of Democratic toss-ups has moved from four to six to three at those benchmarks."
But there are several factors working in the GOP lawmakers' favor.
Trump has gotten more involved in the primary elections and has backed Republican candidates. The Trump administration has made impressive strides when it comes to North Korea and the economy is performing better than expected.
So only time will tell.
“Nobody’s saying the blue wave is not going to happen,” said Newhouse. “The question is, how deep is it going to be?”
Author's note: The fact that The Washington Post has published an article speculating that a blue wave may not be coming means that the liberal media has started to recognize a trend. This is a good sign for Republicans.
Editor's note: The polls are so biased against Trump at this point, that it is tough to read the impact. But the Republicans have some major advantages, especially in the Senate races where a wide majority of challenges are to Democratic seats.
Audience Index: 122