Trump’s favorability numbers rising rapidly, GOP now has advantage on “generic” candidate

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life President Donald Trump

Pro-life President Donald Trump

There are some advantages to having been around the block a few times and one of them is that you never, ever get caught up in numbers months out from a political election. Thus, when polls showed a “generic” Democrat walloping a “generic” Republican, I simply reminded people that we’re talking about taking the public’s pulse in December and January—11 and 10 months, respectively, before the November 2018 elections. [“Generic” means no specific candidate is mentioned. In theory it’s a measure of how people feel about the parties as such.]

So when all this “advantage” vanished like vapors, as it has, I say the same thing as when I was cautioning nervous nellies. To this point, pro-abortion Democrats are the ultimate single-issue party. They hate pro-life President Trump with an intensity that is frightening and have persuaded themselves that vilification and obfuscation will sell with the public.

Ah…. No, it won’t.

Back to the story in today’s heavily-Democratic-leaning POLITICO which announced

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided. …

The GOP’s 1-point advantage comes after three months of tracking in which Democrats maintained a lead ranging between 2 and 10 points on the generic ballot.

There is equally good news for President Trump. The same POLITICO/Morning Consult poll also “shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance”—47%. We’ll return to the President’s remarkable turnabout in a moment.

It is a standard election strategy to tie your opponent to the leadership of his or her party. For Democrats, that is pro-life Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. For Republicans, that is pro-abortion House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. So how’s that working out?

And while House Democrats have pledged to yoke GOP candidates to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the poll suggests that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be a more effective foil for Republicans than Ryan will be for Democrats.

Voters are split on their perceptions of Ryan: 36 percent view him favorably, and 40 percent have an unfavorable opinion.

But Pelosi’s numbers are more negative: Only 28 percent of voters have a favorable impression of her, while nearly half, 49 percent, view her unfavorably.

And, to be clear, those numbers for Pelosi most probably understate seriously not only the number of Republicans (and many Independents) who view her unfavorably, but also the intensity of those feelings. Not to coin a phrase, but Pelosi is a polarizing figure.

Moreover—and this is key— “Not only have Republicans increased support on the generic congressional ballot, they are now trusted more to handle the most important issue when voters head to the polls: the economy,” according to Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer.

As for the President’s approval ratings, the shift is staggering in its size.

As “Allahpundit” wrote [“Quinnipiac: Trump approval rises to highest level in seven months”] February 7th over at HotAir.

And no, it’s not just Quinnipiac that has improving numbers for him lately. I wrote about that too not long ago, but a few of the more recent polls have pegged him at 45 percent approval and one from Rasmussen had him at 48, which is rare air for Trump. His average in the RCP poll of polls is the highest it’s been since May 2017.

Good news all around. Stay tuned.