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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: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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