President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s approval rating is up and Republicans are within 4 points of Democrats on a generic House ballot, according to a new survey from the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA.
In a memo sent out Tuesday, the group warned Democrats that they must remain focused on health care and the economy and not to become distracted by Trump’s tweets or the day-to-day controversies that drive the news cycle.
“In the last few weeks, Democrats turned their attention to other issues while Trump has continued to promote his economic policies, and Trump’s numbers have incrementally improved as a result,” the memo states.
“While still on track for a successful November, the extent of Democratic gains will be blunted if Democrats do not reengage more aggressively in speaking to the economic and health care priorities of voters.”
The survey found Trump’s job approval at 44 percent positive and 53 percent negative, up from a 40-54 split in November. That is in line with other recent polling, which has showed the president’s approval rating ticking up from the historic lows it hit in late 2017.
A Politico–Morning Consult survey released Wednesday found that Trump is at an even 47 positive and 47 negative. That is more positive than most other surveys. According to the RealClearPolitics average, the president is at 41.4 positive and 53.9 negative.
The Priorities USA survey also found Democrats with an advantage, 46 percent to 42 percent, in the generic ballot for the House. Surveys conducted in late 2017 consistently found Democrats with a double-digit lead in the generic ballot, leading many election analysts to speculate that Democrats are headed for a wave election.
Still, the Priorities USA memo said the underlying fundamentals lean heavily in favor of Democrats.
Among undecided voters, Trump’s approval rating is at 35 percent positive and 50 percent negative. Fifty-one percent of voters said they’d prefer to see Democrats elected to act as a check on Trump’s power, compared to only 39 percent who said they’d prefer to see Republicans elected.
“The leanings of undecided voters and the preference for more Democrats to be a check on Trump both show that Trump is a lead weight for Republicans,” the memo states.
The party in power historically loses seats in midterm elections, and a string of retirements have left Republicans defending more seats in the House than they anticipated this year. And Democrats believe they will have an advantage in enthusiasm heading into November.
The Priorities memo found that among voters who are very excited to vote in the 2018 elections, the Democratic advantage on the generic ballot spikes to 11 points, 51 to 40. Seventy-eight percent of those who voted for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE in 2016 say they’re excited to vote this year, compared to only 64 percent of those who voted for Trump.
Still, the memo warns that Democrats need to stay focused on their economic message, not on running exclusively against Trump.
The survey found that attacking the GOP tax bill as a giveaway to the rich and powerful is a winning message, as strong majorities believe large corporations and the wealthy will benefit more than individuals.
“Democrats continue to have winning messages on health care and the economy, but right now voters are not hearing them. That must change,” the memo states.
“When voters have heard messages from both Democrats and Republicans on the tax bill, Democrats have won. Unfortunately, that debate has been relatively one-sided recently and voters have not heard nearly as much from Democrats. While Republican gains have not been enough to counter the extraordinary political environment for Democrats, it is imperative that Democrats return to focusing on the economic message and counter the narrative being pushed by the White House, Republicans in Congress and their special interest backers.”
The Priorities USA survey of 1,001 presidential year voters was conducted Feb. 2–7 by Garin-Hart-Yang and the Global Strategy Group and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
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