While it’s still not a certainty that Democrats will hold congressional majorities in the upcoming mid-terms, especially in the House of Representatives, it does seem clear that Democrats are in better shape than previously thought.
What was once seen as an assuredly red wave in November, given historical trends for the party in power in the White House, the tide has started shifting due to many factors, such as the SCOTUS decision overturning abortion rights, declining gas prices, President Joe Biden’s increased approval rating, and independent voters apparently shifting to a Democratic lean.
While a recent poll from The Wall Street Journal of 1,313 registered voters shows favorable trends for the GOP, including those that think the nation is headed in the right direction under Democratic leadership fell three points from 26% to 23% since March and the percentage of respondents that felt positive about the economy fell from 39% to 34%.
Other results from the poll, though, showed promising signs for Democrats, such as respondents feelings about the economy. Dems were also preferred 47-44 over their GOP opponents – an eight-point swing since the March poll that saw Republicans holding a 46-41 advantage.
Among independent voters, often one of the keys to victory in close elections, more voters are now leaning toward Democratic congressional candidates than their Republican counterparts at a 38% to 35 clip, when in the March poll, Republicans led among independent voters by a whopping 12 percentage points.
Pollster Tony Fabrizio explains that “Male independents did not really change. Female independents, because of the abortion issue, changed their opinions and their votes.’’
Biden’s favorability rating jumped four points from 41 to 45%, rising seven points from minus-15 in March to minus-8. In comparison, Trump saw his favorability mark drop five points to minus-19.
Biden’s rising popularity and former President Donald Trump’s declining popularity also factored in, but pollsters say that the SCOTUS abortion ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this summer was likely the bigger factor:
“Republicans were cruising, and Democrats were having a hard time. It’s almost like the abortion issue came along and was kind of like a defibrillator to Democrats.”