A Blue Wave? The Generic Congressional Ballot Signals Late Movement Toward Democrats
The "generic congressional ballot [GCB]" is a survey that asks respondents to say which party's candidate they will vote for in their local congressional race. The respondents aren't given candidate names, just parties, Democrat or Republican. It essentially asks likely voters to name the party they most trust to run the country. And, even though it just asks about congressional races, it's a great gauge of the general political climate at any given moment, and was amazingly accurate in predicting both the popular vote in the 2016 presidential race and the 2018 congressional midterm elections.
If you had followed the GCB in 2016 you would have noted that support for Democratic candidates collapsed about ten days prior to the election as late deciders backed Republicans. By election day, the Democrats held just a 0.6 lead in the GCB, signaling a small popular vote edge which is exactly what happened in the presidential contest.
With just 5 days to go this year, exactly the opposite is happening; the Democrats are opening an even wider lead in the GCB over Republicans. Democrats have an 8.4 percentage point lead in the Real Clear Politics GCB polling average. In FiveThirtyEight's analysis of all the polling data, Democrats lead by 8.6 points and that advantage has been growing over the last week as late deciding voters make their selections for congress and the presidency.
To provide some perspective, the Democratic advantage in the GCB today is almost exactly the national margin they had in 2018 during the Blue Wave election that allowed them to pick up a record 40 seats and recapture the House of Representatives.
We probably won't know until weeks after the election what is fueling this movement toward Democrats, but one theory is that with Covid peaking again, Americans realize just how incompetent and irresponsible Donald Trump and his enablers in congress have been in handling the pandemic.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content