Democrats rebound in polls after Roe v. wade

But a look at new polls shows that maybe some things matter.

We’ll start there by looking at the political week that took place.

Last week, Monmouth University released its latest survey results from the generic Congressional ballot. Among registered voters, Republicans still lead by 2 points, 48% to 46%. The result closely matches the average of recent polls, which gives Republicans a one-point advantage over the generic ballot, which typically asks respondents some form of the question: « If the congressional elections had place today, would you vote for the Democratic or Republican Party? »

Monmouth’s latest result, however, marked an improvement for Democrats who had trailed 50% to 43% in the university’s last wildcard ballot poll in May.

Normally, I would consider movement from poll to poll statistical noise. These two Monmouth results are within each other’s margin of error.

But a look at all the polls shows the same thing: Democrats have been winning on the generic ballot since Roe was unseated.

It’s a sign that voters may be more reactive to events than we realize.

By my count, there were eight different pollsters who asked about the generic ballot and conducted polling before and after the Supreme Court found there was no federal constitutional right to vote. ‘abortion.

Each of them found that the Democrats did better in their poll taken after the abortion compared to the one taken before the abortion. The average shift was about 3 points in favor of the Democrats.

This 3-point change may not seem like much, and it could reverse as we get further from the decision. Still, that puts Democrats in their best position on the wildcard ballot in the past six months.

It also makes sense that the polls have moved. In poll after poll, Americans disagree with what the Supreme Court has done. A Pew Research Center survey released last week showed that 57% of Americans disapproved of the decision, for example.
And while abortion may not be the most important issue on voters’ minds, it is clearly more important than it has been in any recent election. In May, Gallup found that 27% of Americans said they would only vote for a candidate who shared their views on abortion. That figure was higher than what Gallup had measured in any midterm or presidential election year dating back to at least 1992.

Meanwhile, the percentage of voters who said it would not be a major issue had fallen to just 16%. This is by far the lowest Gallup has measured in an election year.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the percentage was higher in future polls given that the Gallup poll was taken before we knew for sure that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe.

The Democrats are still the underdogs in the fight for the US House. The Republicans need a net gain of just four seats to regain a majority. Race scoring experts put the GOP on a clear path to that win and more. Additionally, Republicans tend to top their generic ballot numbers (see 2006, 2014, and 2020 as prime examples) at the ballot box.
It would be hard for Democrats to hold on to such a small advantage when the economy is such a big issue for voters, who view it as weak. (This is one of the main reasons President Joe Biden’s approval rating is so low.)
Where this could really matter is the battle for control of the US Senate. As I noted earlier this month, Democrats have a real shot at retaining control of the upper house of Congress, for which Republicans have or could nominate a number of flawed candidates this cycle.

A few points movement in key races could make all the difference in the world.

Why Boris had to leave, but Biden still has a chance

Perhaps the biggest election news of the past week came from across the pond. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced he will step down. He came after a wave of scandals and resignations from his government.

Johnson’s announced departure came as no surprise, however. Polls have shown him in bad shape and provide a useful point of comparison as to why the US leader (Biden) may be down but shouldn’t be counted out just yet.

Why Johnson fell but Trump remains his party's de facto leader...for now
Johnson’s approval ratings (e.g. job approval and personal favor) were south of 25% at the time he announced his resignation. This was consistent with the state of affairs earlier in the year, when I noted that Biden « should be thankful he’s outvoting » Johnson.
The reason Johnson’s decision came as no surprise is that no U.S. prime minister or president has bounced back electorally from such low ratings. Every prime minister has resigned or failed to stand for re-election. More recently, this included former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The most notorious example of such an unpopular American president was Richard Nixon before he decided to resign in disgrace.

Biden, who is at the lowest point of his presidency, has a 38% approval rating by comparison. The only president with such a low approval rating at this point in their first term was Harry Truman in 1946. Truman’s Democratic Party lost both the House and Senate midterm.

Truman, however, is proving Biden can recover. Truman will win the presidential election of 1948.

Indeed, there are a number of examples of presidents who had approval ratings at some point in their first term that are comparable to Biden’s at this time and won another presidential election. Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan come to mind, in addition to Truman.

There are also examples of presidents who were equally or more unpopular than Biden and lost. See Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Trump.

The lesson here, however, is that approval ratings at this point tell us little about whether a president will get another term. It is very different from Johnson, who was in a position from which no British prime minister had ever recovered.

The final straw for Johnson was when his popularity with his own Conservative Party members began to fall below 50% in some UK polls. This really put pressure on Conservative Party members in the UK and led many to withdraw their support for the Prime Minister.

That 50% mark is where Nixon’s approval rating stood among Republicans before his resignation.

Biden’s approval rating among Democrats, on the other hand, is around 80%. Every president who has stood for another term with such a high approval rating within his own party has been reappointed without difficulty.

That doesn’t mean Biden is safe or anything like that. It just shows that he has far more strength and potential than Johnson did when the curtains closed on his government.

For your brief encounters: it’s hot there

A look at the weather map across the country reveals that many places are under heat advisories or excessive heat warnings. The place where I sleep is not one of these areas, although I still sweat like I’m living in a sauna.
The good or bad news, depending on your perspective, is that we are approaching the hottest day of the year for most places. This sometimes happens over a two-week period starting July 15 (i.e. this week), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

So, while the next few weeks will be difficult, the climatology suggests that the worst will soon be over.

Remnants of surveys

Biblical belief falls: Only 20% of Americans now believe the Bible is “the true word of God,” according to Gallup. This is the lowest percentage recorded since 1976. A plurality (49%) believe the Bible was inspired by God. A record 29% say the Bible is a collection of « man-recorded fables, legends, history and moral precepts ».
The coronavirus regrets: A new poll from the Pew Research Center asked Americans what the country had prioritized either too little, too much or the right amount during the pandemic. Most (62%) said we gave too little priority to K-12 education needs. Few people said we pay too much attention to one thing, although the highest on this metric respects individual choices at 23%.

Baseball Star Vote: We’re just over a week away from the month’s only federal primary election, but Major League Baseball fans have already given their verdict on who will start this month’s All-Star Game. Unfortunately for this Yankees hater, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were selected.

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