Democrats, on Defense in Blue States, Brace for a Red Wave in the House of Representatives
House Republicans are moving toward what is likely to be a very challenging 2018 — but Democrats are still on the offensive. Photo: Mark Wilson/Pool/AP
As we head into what could be the most politically challenging final months of the Trump presidency, a new poll of battleground states shows Democratic operatives and strategists bracing for a “red wave” that could be powered by the president’s own popularity.
In a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll of the 50 states carried by the RealClearPolitics.com tracking polls, Democrats hold six of 18 states where Trump’s approval rating of 43 percent or higher is within the margin of error. Those include Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin. All but Wisconsin have been carried by Trump, who consistently has enjoyed higher approval ratings than his predecessors in presidential polling.
But one in four of the states where Trump’s approval rating is in the high single digits are carried by the Democrats’ House majority. In Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, Trump’s approval rating puts the Democrats in danger of losing their seats to Republicans — or of flipping them, depending on the result of the fall midterms.
In a poll of the 18 states where Trump’s job approval rating is within the margin of error and Democrats are most vulnerable, Democratic operatives and strategists are taking a deep breath as they prepare for the possibility of a Democratic retaking of the House.
“In this next phase of the midterms, this is the most important election in a hundred-plus years,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic congressman from Illinois. “Everything else is a game of catch-up.”
Democrats, who now are on the offensive in the White House, will have to overcome the president’s approval rating to take back the House in November. But, they can’t afford to slip back into the same old ways of playing defense. Democrats believe Trump’s approval ratings have opened the door — and the Democrats aren’t going to stop campaigning until their majority is in hand.
“There’s no reason for Republicans to be nervous anymore, either,” said Katie Packer, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “This president is