Poof! Dems’ 2018 Generic Ballot Poll Lead Gone, GOP on Top

American voters trust Republicans more to handle economy, jobs, immigration, and national security, a Politico/Morning Consult poll finds

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 14 Feb 2018 at 2:32 PM

Republican congressional members have erased their Democratic counterparts’ three-month-long generic ballot advantage heading into the 2018 midterm elections, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.

Democrats held the electoral advantage for the bulk of the three-month period in which the poll tracked registered voters’ responses. But in the February 8-12 span, GOP candidates earned the support of 39 percent of registered voters while Democrats earned 38 percent.

Twenty-three percent of the poll’s respondents said they are undecided on which party they would support in the midterm elections.

“Not only have Republicans increased support on the generic congressional ballot, [but] they are now trusted more to handle the most important issue when voters head to the polls: the economy,” said Morning Consult co-founder Kyle Dropp, according to Politico.

“In mid-December, 39 percent of voters said they trusted Democrats more to handle the economy, compared to 38 percent who said Republicans. Today, 43 percent say Republicans and 32 percent say Democrats.”

Sure enough, U.S. voters expressed higher levels of confidence in GOP congressional candidates to handle many of the issues Americans care about strongly. Voters’ choice of Republicans over Democrats when dealing with the economy comes less than two months after the GOP-led Congress passed the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which most congressional Democrats opposed.

When asked whom they “trust more to handle” the issue of jobs, 42 percent of registered voters chose Republicans, while 33 percent chose Democrats. When asked about immigration, 42 percent sided with Republicans, while 36 percent chose Democrats.

Forty-seven percent of voters said they'd trust Republicans more to handle national security issues; 28 percent chose Democrats.

Democrats did, however, earn higher trust marks from voters in a few key issues. Although Democrats held a 4-point lead over Republicans when dealing with health care, that dropped from double digits in 2017.

When asked what their top issues would be when considering their 2018 election votes, 27 percent chose economic issues, 20 percent chose health care issues, 18 percent chose seniors' issues, and 17 percent chose security issues.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll also offered good news for President Donald Trump. There was an even split of registered voters — with 47 percent approving and disapproving of Trump's performance as president. Just 6 percent didn't know or had no opinion. Trump hadn't enjoyed an equal split of approval and disapproval from the poll since nearly a year ago, in April 2017.

Although Republicans inched ahead of their Democratic counterparts in this poll heading into the midterm elections, a Gallup poll also released Wednesday offered a warning.

Related: Trump Backers' Message to World on Gallup Poll: 'Get Used to It'

Congress' overall approval among Americans dropped from 20 percent to 15 percent after two brief government shutdowns occurred. Congress had enjoyed a 9 percent jump  — to 28 percent approval — immediately following Trump's inauguration in January 2017. Although approval slumped to 13 percent in early December, it rose to 20 percent after Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law.

Lawmakers are now struggling to tackle immigration reform ahead of the midterm elections, including amnesty for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, border wall funding, and ending the visa lottery and chain migration systems.

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at kathryn.blackh[email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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