“Democrats 219, Republicans 216 — in a tight contest for control. In the race for Congress, most polls report one national percentage for Democrats and Republicans. But that’s not very helpful, because this is a race for seats. 435 of them, in fact,” reports a CBS News poll released Sunday. “And we find the 2018 campaign looks like a toss-up contest for control at the moment, as the Democrats would most likely get 219 seats if the election were today (just one more than the 218 needed for a majority) and the Republicans 216. With a margin of error of nine seats on the model, control is totally up for grabs.”
The poll also found that 44 percent of Americans say the investigation into Russia collusion is “just a political witch hunt and distraction,” 39 percent say it’s a “critical matter of national security” and 17 percent say it’s “serious, but not serious enough to get in the way of getting things done.” More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
The CBS findings reflect an emerging trend in recent polls which suggest the Democrats’ “blue wave” is not guaranteed as voters grow weary of anti-Trump rhetoric and consider gains President Trump has made in the economy and diplomatic outreach. The clock is also ticking. Election Day is now 22 weeks away, primaries are underway and jostling for the 2020 election has already begun.
A Reuters poll revealed that Republicans now lead a generic ballot, with 38 percent of registered voters opting for the Republican candidate, 37 percent for the Democrats. A Washington Post/ABC News poll reported that 74 percent of Republican voters said they were “absolutely certain to vote” compared to 68 percent of Democrats. Meanwhile, a CNN survey found that Democrats’ advantage in the generic ballot dipped from 16 points in February to six points in March to just three points these days.
It’s close: 53 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Republicans now say they are “very” or “extremely” enthusiastic about voting for Congress this year; 47 percent of the public plans to vote for “the Democratic Party candidate” in their own district, while 44 percent favor the Republican. Enthusiasm is equal: 96 percent of Republicans will back the GOP candidate, 96 percent of Democrats back the hopeful from their own party.
Veteran pollster John Zogby, meanwhile, has publicly declared Mr. Trump could be “hard to beat” in 2020, citing a Harvard University poll that shows the president with favorability gains across a spectrum of demographics, plus solid support from his base.
THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE
“Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight said ‘a bad 2018 could condemn Democrats to the Senate minority indefinitely’ and keep the Senate gavel in Mitch McConnell’s hands for the long-haul. We can’t let that happen. Here’s the plan: if we can re-elect all of our incredible Democratic Senate champions this year and send in two reinforcements, we have a shot to take back the Senate. But if we don’t, FiveThirtyEight says McConnell could hold on to the Senate majority indefinitely,” advises the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in a new fundraising outreach.
“Our incredible challengers like Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are fighting for GOP-held Senate seats and making Republicans sweat. But you can be sure Mitch McConnell and his conservative super PACs will be ready to spend whatever it takes to keep these seats in GOP hands and hang onto the majority. We have to fight back right away,” advises the organization.
EVERYBODY WANTS THAT COIN
After the White House confirmed that the stalled meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would go forward, the White House Gift Shop had a surge in sales for a new commemorative coin issued to mark the historic event. The “unprecedented” interest in coin — which becomes available on Aug. 1 — caused the organization’s phone system and website to crash.
“Our project is generating significant media attention as well as an outpouring of support from Americans, Koreans, from people across the globe,” noted Anthony Giannini, CEO and director of the organization, established in 1946 by a permanent memorandum from President Truman.
“We’ve answered and continue to answer a massive number, more like a tsunami, of communications from Americans, Koreans, and supporters from almost every country in the world — and in the United States from members of all political parties in significant numbers across each party. Huge numbers of magnificent people from Korea have shared with us in phone calls and in writing their steadfast hopes for peace and denuclearization. Americans have shared with us many reasons for wanting this commemorative coin regardless of outcome. Many, so many to be candid, love President Trump.”
NO CREDENTIALS FOR SAMANTHA BEE
The annual Western Conservative Summit has denied a request for press credentials from the TBS Network show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” for the event on Friday, considered the largest conservative gathering held outside of Washington, D.C. Organizers cited remarks made by Ms. Bee about Ivanka Trump last week as the primary driver for their decision, along with their previous experience with the cable show.
“In 2016, Samantha Bee’s production team came to the Western Conservative Summit. They did not provide fair coverage. Instead, they bullied and harassed our attendees. Conservatives are tired of being mistreated by the liberal media. Shows like ‘Full Frontal’ are not intent on reporting, but on bullying and shaming conservatives. Her request for media credentials has been denied,” says Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, which is staging the event.
The event this year includes such speakers as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt, Diamond and Silk, Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, NRA columnist Dana Loesch and Washington Times editorial page editor and columnist Charles Hurt, among many others.
POLL DU JOUR
• 79 percent of Americans say the economy is good; 87 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree
• 71 percent overall “definitely” plan to vote in the 2018 midterms; 71 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree..
• 43 percent overall plan to vote Democratic; 3 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 90 percent of Democrats agree.
• 38 percent plan to vote for the Republican; 89 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.
• 14 percent are undecided; 6 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 6 percent of Democrats agree.