Analysis: Democrats Make Big Gains in 3 New Polls – It’s A New Election

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Wed, June 28th - Yesterday NDN released a new political analysis (below) which argued that a combination of recent events had begun to change the election in ways which were favorable to the Democrats (this new thread has some updated numbers which confirm the trendline discussed here).

We now have three independent polls taken since the Supreme Court ended Roe last Friday which show that there has been significant movement towards the Democrats.  These poll results, below, are responses to the Congressional Generic, the simple question of whether you intend to vote Democratic or Republican this fall.  At the end of last week the Republicans held a 2.5 point lead in 538’s tracker.  In these three polls Democrats have on average a 5.67 point lead. 

NPR/Marist             48% Dem   41% GOP   Dem +7 

Morning Consult     45% Dem   42% GOP   Dem +3 

Yahoo/YouGov       45% Dem   38% GOP   Dem +7 

In the Yahoo/YouGov poll a "Pro-choice Democrat" vs "Pro-life Republican" is 47%-32%, a 15 point Democratic lead.  

It's a new election.  The chances of the anti-MAGA majority showing up again - as it did in 2018 and 2020 - have increased dramatically. 

Note - In a Tuesday, June 28th Special Election in NE-2 the Democratic candidate lost by 6-7 points in a district Trump won by 11.  Further evidence the election has moved significantly towards the Democrats in recent days/weeks. 

See this analysis cited in new articles by John Harwood on the CNN site, Greg Sargent in the Washington Post, Susan Milligan in US News, John Skolnick in Salon, and AB Stoddard in The Bulwark and with Ian Masters in his new radio show/podcast

Analysis: The 2022 Election Landscape Is Changing, Chances of Dems Keeping the Senate Have Risen Significantly (June 27th) – In a May essay, The Strategic Context for the 2022 Election Is Changing, we argued that combination of new developments - ending of Roe, renewed mass shootings, Jan 6th Committee revelations, terrible GOP candidates – was changing the context for the 2022 elections in ways that would make it more difficult for the Rs to take advantage of Biden’s low approval ratings.  To put it simply, political analysts were overly discounting the ugliness of the GOP’s offering this year, and that it was our belief that the elections were likely to be much more competitive than conventional wisdom had held.  

Last week we released an analysis showing that in the major Gubernatorial and Senate races we were seeing Democrats holding and no sign of a red wave.  In fact, in our recent polling of Hispanic voters in AZ, NV and PA and in the GOP held Senate seats in NC, OH, PA, WI we were seeing signs of GOP underperformance.  Based on all this we concluded that the Senate was more likely to stay Democratic than flip, and that in fact the election was much more competitive than many understood.  

Then the Supreme Court weakened common sense guns laws and ended Roe.  In our Hispanic polling, close to 50% of Hispanic voters said ending Roe would make it more likely for them to vote Democratic this year.  A new CBS news poll out Sunday found Democrats now 50% more likely to vote due to the end of Roe.  A new NPR/Marist poll out this morning (An “A” rated poll on 538) found similar heightened vote intent with Democrats, and a true potential gamechanger – the Congressional generic had flipped from 47R-44D in April to 48D-41R now.  Just wow. 

To understand the significance of this data let’s review some basic electoral math.  The Democratic margin in the last 3 elections has been +5, in the last 2 since the country came to understand MAGA it’s been +6.5.  In these last two elections the country gave the Congress and the Presidency to the Democrats, and voted in record numbers in both elections.  There is a clear and proven anti-MAGA majority which showed up in big numbers in these last two elections and gave Democrats important wins across the board (more on this here). 

The big question in this election, as I discuss in a new John Harwood CNN analysis, is whether this huge anti-MAGA majority, motivated by ongoing fear/opposition to an even more extremist GOP, would show up again in this election.  Just think about it – is loss of reproductive freedom, far more gun violence, clear overwhelming evidence that hundreds of GOP leaders conspired to overturn an American election (and perhaps weakening our ability to fight climate change) as significant to voters as a 3-4% real increase in your grocery bill? Of course these things can matter as much, if not more.  Particularly when the inflation we are seeing today is being driven by Putin’s outrageous invasion of Ukraine, not Democratic policies.  

Another math insight – while the Democratic coalition is bigger than the Republican coalition is also has a higher percentage of new and infrequent voters.  For Democrats the two groups who were most likely not to show up – younger people and Hispanics – care deeply about reproductive health, climate and gun safety.  In our Hispanic polling 18-29 year old Latinas are 59% more likely to vote Dem due to the end of Roe, and 83% of 18-29 year olds believe abortion should be legal.  There is incredible intensity here about reproductive health, and it is very likely now that the Court’s decisions this past week will lead to these very Democratic parts of our coalition to show up in much larger numbers. 

All of this together is why we think the election is changing now and has changed; why we think what we are seeing in the data is a competitive not a wave election; and why if the election were held today we think the Senate would stay Democratic, with a reasonable chance - due to clear GOP underperformance in PA and WI and potentially elsewhere - of Democrats picking up 1-2 Senate seats.  

The Marist data suggests an even greater swing to Democrats than we would have anticipated – but let’s see where the data and this debate takes us.  One thing to watch – it’s our belief that as voters come to understand the true public health impacts of restricting abortion the tide will turn even more against the GOP this year.   

Best, Simon