Republican voters may be getting complacent, and it could cost them the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a new internal poll conducted by the Republican National Committee.
The poll presents dim news for Republicans, Joshua Green of Bloomberg Business reported on Tuesday.
An internal RNC poll shows complacent Trump voters may cost the GOP control of Congress https://t.co/IwG7uXJltt
— Bloomberg (@business) September 18, 2018
The study, based on polling conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, showed that 71 percent of respondents said they think it’s “extremely” or “somewhat likely” that Democrats will regain control of Congress, versus only 25 percent who said the opposite.
“The Democrat(ic) party holds an image advantage over the GOP.”
Democrats hold a 9-point edge over Republicans on a generic ballot, the poll says, along with “a wide gender gap and generation gap.” Democrats are “favored by women of all ages and also by men aged 18-44,” Green writes.
Republicans and Trump supporters see it differently.
“Fully half of self-identified Republicans don’t believe Democrats are likely to win back the House,” Green writes. “And within that group, 57 percent of people who describe themselves as strong Trump supporters don’t believe Democrats have a chance (37 percent believe they do).”
The problem for Republicans, however, is perceived voter complacency.
Despite President Donald Trump’s boasting about a “red wave” in November that the president claims “could increase Republican majorities,” Trump’s tactics “appear to have lulled GOP voters into complacency, raising the question of whether they’ll turn up at the polls,” according to Green’s analysis of the poll.
Amusing: Trump’s confident talk of a “red wave” has apparently convinced his loyal followers that there is no reason to bother voting in November – this according to an internal RNC poll. https://t.co/ZLNLzcpRxv
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) September 18, 2018
The report urges rank-and-file Republicans to make sure their voters actually show up.
“We need to make real the threat that Democrats have a good shot of winning control of Congress,” the report says.
The issue for Republican voters, the study finds, is that their trust in Trump may give them the impression there’s nothing at stake in the midterm elections, thus causing them to abstain from voting.
Trump has been touting a “red wave” (something he has made up without any evidence to support it) that will continue the Republican majorities in Congress. Since June, the president has tweeted about it seven times, though it’s usually something he says “might” happen.
Great night for Republicans! Congratulations to John Cox on a really big number in California. He can win. Even Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible. So much for the big Blue Wave, it may be a big Red Wave. Working hard!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Presidential Approval numbers are very good – strong economy, military and just about everything else. Better numbers than Obama at this point, by far. We are winning on just about every front and for that reason there will not be a Blue Wave, but there might be a Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win! I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I’m doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2018
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2018
Great Republican election results last night. So far we have the team we want. 8 for 9 in Special Elections. Red Wave!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2018
A Blue Wave means Crime and Open Borders. A Red Wave means Safety and Strength!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2018
This, the survey says, may actually be imperiling Republicans because their voters might just sit out the midterm elections, believing their vote won’t matter.
Trump is becoming the victim of actual fake news: His own. https://t.co/hmtAVIocsT
— Philip Bump (@pbump) September 18, 2018
Skepticism about polls plays a factor, too.
“While a significant part of that lack of intensity is undoubtedly due to these voters’ sentiments toward the President, it may also be partly because they don’t believe there is anything at stake in this election,” the study authors write. “Put simply, they don’t believe that Democrats will win the House. (Why should they believe the same prognosticators who told them that Hillary was going to be elected President?)”
Internal RNC poll shows that Trump stans believe in Trump’s “red wave” and aren’t worried about voting in November https://t.co/eNE8qOVq72
— Bong-Hits for Moderates (@jerweber) September 18, 2018
Despite showing that 40 percent of respondents think the country is heading in the right direction, the POS poll, which should be good news for the incumbent party in power, Republicans are facing another problem – simply having enough voters.
It’s true that Trump enjoys substantial approval within his own party.
“Republicans don’t have a ‘base problem,’” the report says. “Those voters who strongly approve of the President and those who support both his policies and leadership style are genuinely passionate about voting in the election and are voting GOP lock, stock, and barrel.”
Trump has tried to use his base’s trust to drum up fears that he could be impeached if Democrats win enough seats.