CNN Poll: Support for Democrats ticks up and they retain enthusiasm advantage
Posted June 20, 2018 9:35 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — Support for Democratic House candidates has ticked up slightly to 50%, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released Wednesday.
The percentage of voters who said Democrats when asked which party they'll support in November was up three points since CNN's May poll, and Democrats have a sizable lead among voters who are most enthusiastic about voting. Forty-two percent of registered voters said they'll support the Republican candidate.
This week, Trump will embark on a week-long campaign tour taking him to the key states of Minnesota, Nevada, South Carolina, North Dakota and Wisconsin, rallying around Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections. Each of those states except South Carolina is home to a hotly contested Senate race.
The survey was conducted between June 14 and June 17, just as the stories of the US government separating children from parents trying to cross the border began to take over political conversations. It suggested wide disapproval of that practice, but a majority of Republicans favored President Trump and the White House in the matter.
The results of the "generic ballot" question had moved in the GOP's favor since early this year -- a 16-point lead for the Democrats in February dropped to a six-point edge a month later and dropped again in May to just three points. It has grown to an eight point lead for Democrats in the June poll, suggesting a slight rebound, with 50% of registered voters picking the Democrat and 42% going for the Republican.
But that eight-point advantage for Democratic candidates is lower than the 14-point lead the party had in June 2006 -- the last year when the Democrats took the House from the GOP -- so the current numbers do not necessarily suggest a "blue wave" is imminent.
It's way to early to predict which voters will turn out on election day, but the poll does suggest Democrats are still benefiting from an "enthusiasm gap." Fifty percent of Democratic voters saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting compared to only 43% of Republicans who feel that way.
Voters who are most enthusiastic about voting are much more pro-Democratic than the larger pool of all registered voters: 55% of them say they will pick the Democratic candidate; 40% choose the Republican in the generic ballot.
The poll was conducted by SSRS among a random national sample of 1,012 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.
Democrats need to gain 23 House seats in order to take control of the chamber. In the Senate, they need to pick up two seats, but will have a much more difficult time defending their many incumbents up for reelection.
CNN has been tracking key races in the House and Senate.