Democrats received a wake-up call Tuesday when a leading liberal super PAC warned that Trump and Republicans are actually getting more popular.
In a new memo and poll, Priorities USA urged Democrats to shift focus onto the economy and health care ahead of midterm elections, as opposed to arguments over President Trump’s latest remarks.
The poll, conducted by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group and the Global Strategy Group, surveyed 1,001 presidential-year voters by phone between February 2 through February 7.
The study, first reported in McClatchy, additionally found that Trump’s job approval is actually up since November, substantiating public polling that has also found the president doing marginally better. This poll found that 44 percent of voters approve of his job while 53 percent disapprove. In November, Priorities’ poll found then that only 40 percent approved.
This latest poll also included some sobering numbers for the generic congressional ballot ahead of this year’s midterm elections. Even as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has expanded its list of targeted districts, Priorities found that “Among all voters who cast ballots in either 2012 or 2016, Democrats lead by 46% to 42%.”
The Super PAC asserted, however, that there are underlying reasons for the Republican Party to be nervous, including renewed and higher Democratic enthusiasm.
“Among those voters who are currently undecided on the generic ballot, Trump’s approval rating is underwater at 35-50, suggesting those voters are far more likely to support Democratic candidates in November,” their memo read.
Furthermore, Priorities USA found 51 percent of voters “say they would prefer to see more Democrats elected to Congress this year to be a check and balance on Trump,” compared to 39 percent who say they’d want “more Republicans to help Trump pass his policies and programs.”
The memo also says that Democrats must stick to economic issues to animate voters and not “be sidetracked and distracted by Trump’s latest tweets.” Their research determined that issues of health care and the Republican tax bill have helped energize Democrats in the past.
“There’s no question that Trump benefits when a critique of his tax and health care policies is not front and center—especially when voters are hearing Trump’s side of the story on the economy,” the memo read.