Look, legislative ineptitude is a bipartisan problem.
That is, the blame for gridlock inside the Beltway does not fall solely on the shoulders of the GOP. That said, when you control the government and cannot get anything done, your party will invariably lose public support.
When you exacerbate the situation by allowing the party to morph into a personality cult (which is what’s happened to the GOP under Trump), the backlash from the electorate is likely to be all the more acute, especially when the personality in question is as controversial as Trump is.
Mitch McConnell and other mainstream Republicans have recently moved to counter the influence of the Steve Bannon drift ahead of 2018 when the Breitbart boss has promised to challenge incumbents by fielding populist/nationalist candidates like Roy Moore. Of course Bannon’s “war” against the establishment risks further alienating voters as those candidates are inherently volatile. The risk for the party is that the electorate comes to identify the GOP as the party of firebrand bigots like Bannon, Trump, and Moore leading directly to devastating losses like those which played out in Virginia and Alabama.
Well in the latest evidence to suggest that the public is turning against the GOP, a new NBC/WSJ poll shows that “Democrats now enjoy their largest advantage in congressional preference in nine years.”
Specifically, 50% of registered voters polled said they would prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress vs 39% who want Republicans in charge. As NBC notes, “the last time Democrats held both a double-digit lead in the polling series and hit 50% on the congressional preference question was in September 2008, right before the party won the White House and picked up a substantial number of House and Senate seats.”
The breakdown is a disaster for Republicans. Have a look at this:
The bottom line, as spelled out buy pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, is this:
All in all, I think a 41 percent Trump approval and an +11D lead in the control of Congress definitely puts control of the Senate and the House as more doable for Democrats in 2018.
If Steve Bannon persists in trying to undermine the mainstream candidates, you can bet Democrats’ prospects will only brighten in the weeks and months ahead.