A new poll shows ominous signs for Republicans in 2018

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesDemocratic Senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden on Capitol Hill.
  • New polls show voters want Democrats to control Congress.
  • Senate Democrats have a tough electoral map in 2018.

Many congressional Republican leaders and political pundits were quick to write-off Doug Jones’ upset victory in Alabama as a fluke win against an extremely vulnerable opponent.

But recent polls suggest that the incoming Alabama senator-elect’s victory may be a part of a larger trend that could spell trouble for Republicans in next year’s midterm elections.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Sunday found that 50% of people said they want Democrats to lead Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, compared to 39% who said they hoped Republicans would retain congressional control.

According to the Journal, the survey result represents a 4-point increase from a similar survey taken in October, and it is the first double-digit advantage for the party since shortly before the 2008 presidential election that resulted in a Democratic super-majority in the Senate, and control of both congressional chambers.

The telephone poll was conducted between December 13-15 among 900 adults, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2% points.

Other recent polls suggest that despite a difficult senate map, Democrats have a strong advantage heading into 2018.

A Monmouth University survey released on Wednesday – conducted by telephone, and with a plus-or-minus 3.5% margin of error- found that 51% of registered voters said they would vote for or lean toward a Democratic candidate if the 2018 elections were held today, compared to just 36% who said they would vote or lean Republican.

Democratic preference in both polls was slightly above data site 538’s polling aggregator, which on Sunday showed that 48.5% of voters who said they would support a generic Democratic candidate in 2018, compared to 37.6% who preferred a generic Republican.

Still, there were some bright spots for Republicans in Sunday’s survey.

President Donald Trump’s approval rating increased by three points to 41%, still an historic low for a modern president finishing out his first year in office.

Other recent polls suggest that goodwill toward Democrats may be more complicated than the Journal poll suggests.

A CNN poll released in November found that only 37% of Americans held a favourable view of the Democratic party, compared to 54% of Americans who had an unfavorable view of Democrats, the highest number since CNN began polling the party in 1992.

That telephone poll surveyed 1,021 Americans and had a margin-of-error of plus or minus 3.6% points.

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