Thursday, March 8, 2018

Immigration and the Off-Year Elections: Updated (March 8)

Update XIV, March 8:

President Trump Job Approval Monmouth Approve 40, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +14
2018 Generic Congressional Vote Monmouth Democrats 50, Republicans 41 Democrats +9
President Trump Job Approval Quinnipiac Approve 38, Disapprove 56 Disapprove +18
President Trump Job Approval Reuters/Ipsos Approve 40, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +14
President Trump Job Approval Economist/YouGov Approve 41, Disapprove 54 Disapprove +13
President Trump Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 46, Disapprove 53 Disapprove +7
Congressional Job Approval Economist/YouGov Approve 11, Disapprove 67 Disapprove +56
Congressional Job Approval Monmouth Approve 17, Disapprove 75 Disapprove +58
Congressional Job Approval Reuters/Ipsos Approve 24, Disapprove 65 Disapprove +41
Congressional Job Approval Quinnipiac Approve 13, Disapprove 80 Disapprove +67
2018 Generic Congressional Vote Quinnipiac Democrats 48, Republicans 38 Democrats +10
2018 Generic Congressional Vote Reuters/Ipsos Democrats 38, Republicans 31 Democrats +7
2018 Generic Congressional Vote Economist/YouGov Democrats 43, Republicans 37 Democrats +6

Monmouth is showing more anti-Trump than before: disapprove +14, up from +4; generic congressional vote +9, up from +2. Economist from disapprove +9 to +13; congress Dems from +2 to +6. Rasmussen is slightly higher on Trump disapproval than it has been.

Reuters about the same as before on both measures.

Trump disapproval is slightly lower for Quinnipiac, and generic congressional vote is down from Dems +15 to Dems +10.

Update XIII, March 6: Vox poll, thanks to Kaus.

While some Republicans chose health care, as a whole, self-described Republicans were likelier to pick immigration (26 percent) and deficit reduction (19 percent) as important issues to address than they were health care (18 percent). Generally speaking, the more conservative the likely voter surveyed (regardless of party), the likelier they were to focus on immigration and deficit reduction, and the more liberal they got, the likelier they were to choose health care (and, secondarily, guns and climate change):

Among very liberal respondents, as many (17 percent) want to tackle climate change as guns, but both lag far behind health care. Only 6 and 8 percent of very and somewhat liberal respondents, respectively, want to focus on immigration, in a sign that there could be less grassroots interest in a pro-immigrant reform bill than in a conservative hardline bill on the issue.

Update XII, March 1:

President Trump Job Approval Economist/YouGov Approve 44, Disapprove 53 Disapprove +9
President Trump Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 49, Disapprove 50 Disapprove +1
President Trump Job Approval Reuters/Ipsos Approve 40, Disapprove 56 Disapprove +16

2018 Generic Congressional Vote Reuters/Ipsos Democrats 37, Republicans 31 Democrats +6
2018 Generic Congressional Vote Economist/YouGov Democrats 40, Republicans 38 Democrats +2

Trump approval: Rasmussen is the most consistently favourable to Trump. Economist and Reuters are staying roughly where they have been recently, lower on the disapproval margin than they were a month ago.
Congressional ballot looking quite good for Republicans; I haven't seen a breakdown on how much of this potential Republican vote is actually pro-Trump. Still, Trump has shown he can win an election in which he is actually unpopular.

Update XI, Feb. 26: A real split between polls showing Trump disapproval way up, and those showing something more positive for him. CNN disapprove +17; USA Today/Suffolk, disapprove +22; Maris disapprove +13. Rasmussen tied.

Marist Congressional vote: Dems +7.

Update X, Feb. 22: Rasmussen now disapproval +3; Economist +7 (an improvement over disapproval +15 on Feb. 14, even better than +8 on Feb. 7);
On the other hand: Harvard-Harris disapprove +10 (tied or down slightly from +12 in January); Quinnipiac disapprove +21; Reuters disapprove +15;
Generic congressional vote: Economist and Reuters both Dems +8; Harvard-Harris Dems +_5.

Update IX, Feb. 20: Rasmussen now back to showing Trump disapproval 7% ahead of approval. McLaughlin shows disapprove +6.
Quinnipiac generic congressional vote: Dems + 15. McLaughlin: Dems +3.

Update VIII, Feb. 14: Politico showing a tie both for Trump approve/disapprove and for the generic Congressional ballot.

Update VII, Feb. 7: Quinnipiac: Trump's approval still only 40%, but better than its been; numbers on economy and Trump are up, and there's a SOTU bump.

Update VI, Feb. 7: IBD/TIPP has Trump at 35% approval, -23% compared to Disapprove, unchanged since January. Most of the poll was conducted before the State of the Union address. Trump's net favourability rating is up "sharply" from August, and polling on the Trump tax cuts is increasingly positive, which should help Republicans in the off-year elections.
Dems now have only a 5% advantage in generic congressional poll, close to the RCP average of 6.6%, down from 13 points in December.

Update V, Feb. 6: Gallup has Trump approval/disapproval at -17%, perhaps slightly down from -20% in their previous poll, and the highest approval number for Trump in Gallup since last May.

Update IV: Rasmussen now showing a tie on Trump approval/disapproval (Friday Feb 2). For them it was still -10% on Wednesday, -8% yesterday, and today tied.

Update III: Three other polls show Trump down on approval 9, 10, 12: down from 22 to 12 in the case of Reuters, a bit down in the case of Economist. Generic Congressional vote Dems by 6 and 5, a bit down for Reuters.

Update II: Monmouth on RCP now showing Trump only down 4% on approval, generic Congressional vote only favouring Dems by 2%.

Update: Podhoretz is focussing on polls after the State of the Union. Thanks once again to Kaus.

Independents who watched the State of the Union liked it. Watchers were disproportionately Republican, but even Dems who watched liked it more than one would expect. Is this going to be a speech like Nixon's "Silent Majority" that actually turns polls around, while enraging liberals?

Are Democrats planning to go into the off-year elections in the fall with one #1 issue, immigration, and their own position that unrestricted immigration, open borders, is the only decent position that moral people can hold? That seems crazy. (Thanks to Kaus).

Off-years tend not to go well for incumbent presidents. Real Clear Politics is showing Trump consistently behind on approval: pro-Trump polls about 10% behind, anti-Trump polls more like 20%. Generic Congressional elections are showing Dems up by anywhere from 5% to 13%. Dems are not getting the full advantage of Trump's unpopularity. The general election in 2016 showed that people are capable of disliking Trump quite thoroughly, yet voting for him; it might be even easier to dislike him and vote for candidates, of either party, who actually support some degree of restriction on immigration. Incumbents have an advantage in the U.S. system if they successfully cater to a home district or state (in Canada this effect is somewhat vitiated, I think is the word, by party discipline, and the desire in bellweather ridings to bring about a majority government).

Not that long ago, lots of liberals and Dems said they wanted a big amnesty for illegals (sentimentally and falsely portrayed as college graduates who are itching to serve in the armed forces), but of course they wanted some restrictions on future illegal immigration. Often the amnesty was immediate and real, "enforcement" was weak and indefinitely postponed; but lip service had to be paid. Today it's only because of Trump that there is a debate about immigration--he has led a debate about policy, ideas, so-called values, contrary to the usual portrayal of what he does. There were a few genuine restrictionists before, mainly Senate Republicans, but they were lonely voices. During his first year Trump has said many different things, ranging from: a whole list of restrictions including the wall and e-verify are needed; to: the main thing is an amnesty for those wonderful DACA kids or Dreamers. The recently negotiated "framework," associated with Trump, seems to go back to massive amnesty yes (arguably the biggest amnesty yet), restrictive measures maybe. Yet this compromise is rejected by many Dems as racist and evil.

I don't know whether it's advertent or inadvertent, but Trump seems to have "made" the Dems take an extreme position that is unlikely to win elections, and manoeuvred them into becoming more extreme only a few months before the off-years. Trump may have a working restrictionist majority in Congress in 2019, and if the Dems' clever plan to create a new electorate of Dem voters is foiled, they may be in a hole for a long time. Of course a lot can happen in those few months.

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