The Polling that Really Haunts Republicans Right Now is the "Generic Congressional Ballot"
If Republicans were honest, they would admit that they would prefer a presidential candidate with Trump's policies, but without a Twitter account. So, recent polling that shows him losing to Joe Biden by a landslide doesn't bother them much. However, Trump's growing unpopularity also seems to be damaging the party's reputation and future prospects.
Recent polling averages show them losing the "generic congressional ballot" [GCB] by 11 points. The generic congressional ballot [or vote] 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 registered voters to name the party they most trust to run the country. Right now according to Real Clear Politics [a generally conservative leaning organization], Democrats lead Republicans 50.8% to 39.8%. That is, to use the lexicon of our President, a HUGE advantage, and it's grown more than three percentage points in just the last month.
To be fair, the Five Thirty Eight organization only has Democrats up by nine points in the GCB, 49.4% to 40.4% because they weight the polling a bit differently. However, that is still an immense lead. To provide some context, in 2018, during the "Blue Wave" election that saw Democrats win back the House of Representatives, they only had an eight point polling advantage in the GCB.
As we have said before, the GCB is often a better gauge than head-to-head polling of the presidential race. If President Trump is going to win reelection, the GOP deficit in the GCB would probably have to close to about 2-3 points. Trump could win again in the Electoral College even if he loses the popular vote by several points. However, if the Democrats can maintain a GCB advantage of 6-9 points, Joe Biden will be our next president and they would probably retake the Senate and increase their majority in the House.
Congressional Republicans know all this, of course, but they are in a tough spot. Do they remain committed to an increasingly erratic and unpopular president, or show a bit more independence, hoping to capture a greater percentage of independent voters. We will probably see some of both in the coming weeks, but if the polling doesn't change much by Labor Day, we might witness a lot more Republicans growing a backbone.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content