Even with a majority in Congress, President Trump has been largely unsuccessful in getting many of his larger initiatives through Congress. The “repeal and replace” promises Trump made on the campaign trail regarding Obamacare turned out not to be so easy, and Trump has been forced to issue executive orders to replace the popular health care programs that ACA made possible.
Certain proposals by Trump have, however, gotten through. Of the bills that Trump has signed so far, one allows states the right to refuse funding to Planned Parenthood facilities that provide affordable reproductive health care. Another allows unemployment agencies to drug test applicants and deny them benefits for which they qualify. A bill Trump argued against that required sanctions to be passed against Russia for their concerted effort to influence the 2016 presidential elections was passed anyway, but Trump has refused to implement them.
The best hope for the country is the possibility that Democrats could flip enough Congressional seats to turn the Republican-majority Congress blue. A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows that might just be possible.
For the first time in over a decade, Democrats lead Republicans in races for House seats by a full 11 points.
‘A slim 51 percent majority of registered voters say that if the election were held today, they would vote for or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, while 40 percent say they would choose the Republican.
‘That’s the biggest spread in a Post-ABC survey since October 2006, just weeks before a midterm in which Democrats won back control of the House and Senate amid deep dissatisfaction with then-President George W. Bush and the Iraq War.’
With Trump’s approval rating at historic lows for a president so early into his first term, it seems his own re-election bid is not the only one to be negatively impacted by his unpopularity.
‘Trump also receives more intensely negative ratings, with 46 percent expressing no confidence at all in his decision-making, compared with 28 percent for both congressional Democrats and Republicans.’
Issues facing the Democratic Party is low voter turnout, with only 63 percent of all voters responding that they will definitely vote in the 2018 elections. Mid-term elections have notoriously low turnout, with millions more participating in only the presidential elections.
Low voter turnout during Congressional elections is how Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains in office despite low approval ratings in his home state. Republicans face, however, a massive push to remove more establishment Republican lawmakers in favor of more radical, Trump supporting ones by organizations with a broader public appeal than imagined before the 2016 elections. Former Trump chief strategist and editor of Breitbart, Steve Bannon, has pledged war against GOP Congressman like Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. While most Republicans answered in unity in the survey, those views may change drastically in the months preceding the vote.
Democrats also face a larger amount of division among their voters following the 2016 primaries between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Republican respondents tended to be more unified in their pledge to vote for only Republican candidates over a Democrat.
For more predictions on the 2018 midterm elections, see video below:
Featured image via Getty/Tom Williams