PPP's newest national poll finds that the Democratic enthusiasm that led to strong finishes in special elections in Georgia and Kansas over the last week is a national phenomenon.
Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot 47-41. But what's more notable is the enthusiasm imbalance. 63% of Democrats say they're 'very excited' about voting in the 2018 election, compared to only 52% of Republicans who express that sentiment. When you look at the 2018 House picture just among the voters most excited about turning out next year, the lead for Democrats grows to 19 points at 57-38. Republican leaning voters are comparatively disengaged, with the GOP holding advantages only among voters who are 'somewhat excited' (48-40) and 'not that excited' (46-31).
One reason for the comparative lack of Republican excitement may be the continued unpopularity of Donald Trump. Only 43% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 50% who disapprove. The core promise of Trump's campaign was to 'Make America Great Again,' but only 35% of voters actually think he's accomplished that goal to 55% who think he hasn't.
Foreign policy has taken on a larger role in the national discussion in recent weeks and Trump's leadership on that front isn't inspiring a ton of confidence. 39% of voters think he will get the United States into World War III during his Presidency, to just 40% of voters who don't think he's going to have that effect. Trump has continued to attack the Obama administration's approach to foreign policy lately, but by a 51/39 spread voters think Obama had a better handle on foreign policy than Trump. And by a 51/43 split, voters would rather still have Obama than Trump as President overall.
One finding that may best sum it all up when it comes to how down voters are on Trump: by a 42/40 spread, they have a higher opinion of United Airlines than they do of him.
Other findings from our national poll:
-The strong early numbers for Democrats in the 2018 Congressional picture aren't just a function of Trump's unpopularity. Both Paul Ryan (30/53 approval) and Mitch McConnell (24/48) are very unpopular on the national scene as well. Overall Congress has just an 18% approval rating, with 65% of voters disapproving of it.
-One issue that particularly sunk Ryan's numbers was health care, and we continue to find less and less resistance to just keeping the Affordable Care Act. We find 47% support for it on this poll, but more notable than that we find the level of opposition to it down to only 31%. Even among Republican voters there's now barely a majority- 51%- that expresses opposition to the ACA. Just 30% of voters want to repeal it, compared to 62% who say the best path forward is to keep what works in it and fix what doesn't.
-One thing Trump could do that voters would support is get rid of Steve Bannon. Bannon has only a 21% favorability rating, compared to 50% of voters who see him negatively. Only 26% think Trump should keep Bannon on his staff, to 45% who think he should fire Bannon.
-Another thing Trump could do to help himself is work a little bit harder. Only 36% of voters think the amount of he's spent at Mar-a-Lago as President so far is appropriate, to 49% who say they think it's inappropriate. Voters are picking up on how much golf Trump has played- 48% believe he's played more golf during his first 3 months in office compared to only 28% who think Barack Obama played more at the start of his term. (Trump voters do say 53/20 that they think Obama played more though).