Voters really want their Congressional representatives to stand up to President Donald Trump, according to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll released on Thursday. Fifty-eight percent versus 32 percent of voters want a Congress willing to challenge the President when necessary, according to the poll.
This poll would seem to signal a clear strategy for Republicans who want to keep their seats: distance themselves from the President or face the wrath of voters in November. It begs the question, why are they so tied to him politically and legislatively when it seems there's such a downside to their own careers.
Other results from the poll had similar results for the President.
For example, of those polled, voters trust Special Counsel Robert Mueller more than Donald Trump 58 percent to 36 percent, a 22-point margin; and 44 percent believe Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election actually affected the outcome.
Trump's approval rating stands at 38 percent, yet 55 percent of participants think the economy is heading in the right direction. Such lopsided disparity between presidential approval and economic outlook is rare.
"Seven in 10 Republicans say the country is headed in the right direction," the poll found. "But more than eight in 10 Democrats say it's off on the wrong track, and seven in 10 independents agree with them."
The poll gave Democrats a 15-point advantage over Republicans on a generic ballot leading up to the 2018 midterm elections. Voters prefer Democrats 47 percent to 32 percent, which means "a Democratic House, without a doubt," says David Wasserman of @CookPoliticalReport.
Making matters worse, only 27 percent of voters hold a favorable view of the Republican Party, and 60 percent hold an unfavorable view. Seventy-five percent of voters disapprove of the job Congressional Republicans are doing. This is really bad news for Republicans in a midterm election year. "That intensity of feeling could affect efforts to convince voters to go to the polls. Turnout traditionally is lower in midterm elections than in presidential years," the poll stated.
Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to retake control of the US House of Representatives. Winning back the House greatly increases the chances of impeachment proceedings being brought against Trump. A Democratic majority could also lead to more investigations, subpoenas, and perhaps more indictments against associates of or Trump himself.
In another poll by CNN, Trump's approval rating sunk to a historic low of 35 percent.
"Asked in an open-ended question to name the most important issue that will affect their vote in November, those surveyed put immigration and border security at the top of the list, followed closely by gun control and the Second Amendment," the poll found.
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters via landline and cell phone and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.