Giant Swing in Polls Doesn't Bode Well for Democrats

Gallup puts GOP up 5 points in US support, a shift from trailing by 9
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2022 12:28 PM CST
Midterms Look Dreary for Dems
President Biden walks to speak to the media after meeting privately with Senate Democrats Thursday on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – The midterm elections could spell disaster for President Biden and the Democrats, if recent polling is any indication. A new Gallup poll shows an average of 47% of Americans surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2021 identified with or leaned toward the Republican Party compared to 42% for the Democratic Party—for a net swing of 14 points from the first quarter, when Democrats held a 49-40 advantage, CNN reports. As Gallup notes, a 5-point Republican advantage hasn't been seen since 1995, after the party took control of the House for the first time since the 1950s.

Democrats could be in for what NBC News terms a "shellacking." History shows that "in 1994, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018—when the president's party suffered big losses—overwhelming majorities said the country was headed on the wrong track before the election; each president's job rating was below 50%; and the president's party trailed on the generic ballot," the outlet reports. NBC's October poll indicated 71% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction and put Biden's job rating at 42%. "The silver lining for Democrats is that they enjoyed a narrow lead on the generic ballot," per the outlet, which notes its own latest poll is due out in a few days.

However, this speculation comes far too early for Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll, who argues the election will hinge on how the COVID-19 pandemic plays out over the coming months. "Remember that the pandemic affects almost everything—the economy, health care, education, employment, and family finances," he tells the New Republic. Yet with others focused on the stalemate over voting rights legislation, Senate Democrats plan to push forward, even without the votes to change filibuster rules. As the Hill reports, there is talk of them forcing Republicans to stage a talking filibuster, with senators present on the floor, with an eventual simple-majority vote. (Read more Democrats stories.)

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