Democrats preferred in 2018, but without anti-Trump motivation

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday surveyed 439 "Trump counties" in the states of Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The numbers clearly undercut the theory that anti-Trump sentiment will fuel a Democratic turnout.

Fifty percent of adults in these counties - consisting of Republicans, Democrats and independents - approve of the president's job performance (including 29 percent who strongly approve), while 46 percent disapprove (including 35 percent who do so strongly). That said, among registered voters, it's a 52-38 percent split, and among likely voters, 50-41 percent - the Democratic margin drawing in from 18 to 14 to 9 points as voting likelihood increases. Only 24 percent said their 2018 vote will be used to "oppose Trump", compared to 20 percent who intend to use their congressional vote in support of him.

The division is also narrower than in the past, further indicating no outsized impact of Trump's unpopularity at this point. The poll had a margin error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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"The survey results suggest some reasons that Democrats have not been able to capitalize yet on voter antipathy toward Trump", said the Post's Mike DeBonis and Emily Guskin. By 64 percent to 30 percent, more prefer Democrats as a check against Trump than Republicans who will support Trump's agenda. That said, Democratic leaders all say they want to "fix" the Affordable Care Act but they've got to do more than rail against the GOP and congratulate themselves on stopping the GOP plans.

A new poll from ABC News/The Washington Post, asked voters if they are "absolutely" going to vote in the 2018 elections.

Naturally, intention to vote to support Trump peaks among those in his own party in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

  • Stacy Houston