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CNN Poll: Democratic advantage is growing

Democrats now lead Republicans by 52% to 41% in a nationwide generic Congressional ballot according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 8:37 AM
Updated: Aug 16, 2018 8:50 AM

With Labor Day rapidly approaching, one thing is becoming clear: All signs point to the Democratic wave growing rather than shrinking in the final weeks of the 2018 election.

Point #1: A new CNN poll shows Democrats with an 11-point edge on the generic ballot, a margin that, if history is any guide, promises major gains for the minority party. By comparison, Republicans held a 49%-43% edge on the generic ballot in the final CNN poll before the 2010 election, before the party picked up more than 60 seats that year. In the final CNN poll before the 2006 election -- where Democrats netted 30 seats -- the party had a 15-point generic ballot edge.

The generic ballot question -- "If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party's candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district" -- has functioned, largely effectively, as a sort of political weather vane. It tells us which way the wind is blowing and how strongly.

Point #2: Quinnipiac University has a new national poll out as well -- showing Democrats with a 9-point edge on the generic ballot. Self-identified independents -- traditionally the swing voting bloc in most elections -- favor a Democrat over a Republican by 12 points.

Point #3: The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapping site, moved three more House races in Democrats' favor on Wednesday. According to Cook's House editor, David Wasserman, the moves now mean that there are "37 GOP-held seats as Toss Ups or more vulnerable (Lean/Likely Dem), nearly double the 20 we counted in January." In short: The playing field is getting bigger. And all the vulnerability is on the Republican side.

There's a tendency to avoid making any hard and fast predictions about where this election is headed because a) the old cliche that a month is like a year in politics and b) every "proven" quantitative measure showed Donald Trump losing in 2016 right before he won.

At the same time, there's very little evidence historically to suggest that the underlying dynamics of election cycles change much in their last 90 days or so -- barring some sort of catastrophic national or international event. Wrote Cook Political Report namesake Charlie Cook prophetically last week:

"In modern history, we've never seen a directional change in the last three months of a midterm election campaign. Waves can stay the same or increase in the closing months, but they don't reverse direction or dissipate."

That's very important to keep in mind amid the hand-wringing about people making inaccurate predictions because the election is soooooo far off. [Narrator voice: It's really not.] 

The Point: What we are trying to deduce between now and November 6 isn't whether this is going to be a wave election for Democrats. It is. The only issue is how big -- and who gets swept away. And recent signs suggest the answers to those two questions are a) "big" and b) "lots of Republicans."

Read Wednesday's full edition of The Point newsletter, and sign up to get future editions delivered to your inbox.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17331186
Hinds16373328
Harrison13731199
Rankin10854217
Jackson10557187
Lee8922141
Madison8335166
Jones6483112
Forrest6038120
Lauderdale5965187
Lowndes5425118
Lafayette503193
Lamar490865
Washington4826124
Bolivar4024109
Oktibbeha397681
Panola374680
Pontotoc369855
Monroe3591105
Warren3569100
Union348063
Marshall347769
Neshoba3413152
Pearl River3329103
Leflore3059107
Lincoln299386
Sunflower288271
Hancock282559
Tate274362
Alcorn267454
Itawamba265260
Pike264679
Scott250847
Prentiss248252
Yazoo247356
Tippah244450
Copiah243949
Coahoma242254
Simpson238368
Leake232966
Grenada220671
Covington215072
Marion215073
Adams207870
Wayne203232
Winston202667
George201939
Newton195044
Attala194659
Tishomingo191661
Chickasaw185744
Jasper174438
Holmes169168
Clay161335
Tallahatchie148235
Stone145921
Clarke141762
Calhoun137621
Smith122725
Yalobusha119134
Walthall112836
Noxubee111423
Greene111029
Montgomery110136
Carroll105321
Lawrence103217
Perry102831
Amite98826
Webster93924
Tunica87421
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85827
Benton83323
Humphreys83324
Kemper78420
Quitman6969
Franklin67115
Choctaw61213
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55419
Sharkey44017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
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