To suggest that there are significant chunks of American society not on board with the Trump agenda would be an understatement. The issue, though, for Democrats seeking to capitalize on this fact is mobilization. They’ve got to get these people motivated enough about their causes to cast votes for Democratic candidates. That means their causes have to be “exciting” and serve some real need on the part of the American people.
If a new poll out of Pennsylvania is to be believed, Democrats’ efforts are paying off. There’s going to be a special election there next week to fill the Congressional seat vacated by Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned from Congress after it came out that the anti-abortion politician had encouraged a woman with whom he was having an affair to have an abortion.
A new poll conducted ahead of the election to fill his seat by RABA Research and reported upon by Talking Points Memo has the Democratic candidate in the race — Conor Lamb — four points ahead of his Republican counterpart, Rick Saccone. Lamb, in the poll, has 48 percent of the vote to Saccone’s 44 percent.
The margin of error in the poll is 3.7 percent, meaning Lamb’s lead is just large enough to make it statistically significant. The numbers might be a bit skewed, since 41 percent of those surveyed said they consider themselves Democratic, while only 40 percent identified themselves as Republican. As Talking Points Memo noted, however, the fact that these numbers came from a Congressional district that’s traditionally solidly Republican might be simply indicative of a wave of Democratic enthusiasm.
The portions of the population in the district who approve and disapprove of Trump’s job performance are the same size as those for Lamb and Saccone respectively, with 48 percent disapproving and 44 percent disapproving.
These numbers will likely weigh on the effectiveness of a planned campaign stop from Donald Trump in the area on Saturday. There’s a precedent at this point for support from the president falling through in terms of its effectiveness in actually pushing the Republican candidate to victory. Although he campaigned in person for Republican Roy Moore, for instance, Moore lost last year’s Alabama U.S. Senate race to Democrat Doug Jones.
Another candidate who Trump supported but failed to win their race was Republican contender for the Virginia governor’s seat Ed Gillespie.
Trump’s dismal recent record when it comes to the power of his endorsements in elections comes in the face of a continuously low approval rating for the president overall.
RealClearPolitics currently has his approval rating at just above 40 percent.
Democrats hope to ride Trump’s failure to consolidate the support of Americans behind him to victories besides just one in Pennsylvania next week; they need to pick up about two dozen seats in the U.S. House to become the majority party and just two seats in the U.S. Senate to do so.
RealClearPolitics currently has Democrats with a lead in generic Congressional ballot polling of just under nine percent.
After this coming election, a new map of Pennsylvania Congressional districts will go into effect, created in the face of a lawsuit from interests concerned about the degree to which the old map unfairly favored Republicans. That map change will even further increase Democrats’ chances of achieving upset victories in the midterm elections later this year.
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