Democrats may be on their way to waves of resounding victories in the general election this fall. A slew of polls that came out last week have Democratic candidates far ahead of their incumbent Republican rivals in states including Colorado, Montana, and North Carolina. In Colorado, two separate polls that came out last week each gave Democrat and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper a nearly 20-point lead over his challenger, incumbent Republican Cory Gardner. If even something near that leading margin remains in place heading into the general election, “a Democratic wave of truly epic proportions” may be on the horizon, FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich says.
Although he notes that it’s important to remember that the length of time left to go until the general election and the Coronavirus-induced political chaos could both weigh on the accuracy of the polls, Rakich explains:
‘[Some] recent Senate polls have been so eye-popping that we’re compelled to write about them — if only to sound a note of caution. Those polls imply a Democratic wave of truly epic proportions… To put it mildly, these polls were out of step with our previous perceptions of these races… But the fact that they are even remotely plausible reflects a vulnerability for the GOP in the age of the coronavirus. Americans are souring on President Trump’s handling of the crisis, and congressional Republicans are reportedly worried that it will drag them down too.’
The numbers are starkly in favor of the Democrats across the board. A Keating Research/Onsight Public Affairs/Melanson survey reported an 18 percent lead for Hickenlooper, and a Montana State University Bozeman/University of Denver poll reported the 17 percent lead for the former governor. Polling data from Montana State University Bozeman/University of Denver poll also registered a 7 percent lead in Montana for Democrat Steve Bullock in his race to unseat Republican Steve Daines, while a Civiqs/Daily Kos survey registered a lead of 9 percent for Democrat Cal Cunningham, who is attempting to unseat that state’s incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis.
Rakich notes that “it’s fair to wonder how accurate these polls are,” and in this case, factors weighing on the results could include the potential for the online format of all the polls to skew the results towards Democrats. In each of the states, polling has been sparse, however, so it’s not as though there’s any overwhelming evidence that the new data that’s emerged is actually flawed. There has been more polling measuring voters’ opinions on a “generic” Congressional ballot in which they’re presented with the option of any Democrat versus any Republican. In a generic Congressional ballot poll that came out last week from Monmouth University, Democrats led by ten percent.
Trump has seemingly been feeling the heat of rising Democratic chances. This week, he tried to take credit for the pandemic response successes of various governors, although he’d previously complained when those same governors had asked him for assistance, leaving them to pursue sources outside of the federal government for help.
Maryland, for instance, procured half a million Coronavirus tests from South Korea.