A new national poll from Quinnipiac University shows some bad numbers for Republicans hoping to win congressional control in 2022.
With the House of Representatives nearly evenly divided between the two parties (and with the Senate LITERALLY equally divided), the GOP has a good, if not great, chance of winning back both chambers of Congress. History also shows that the opposing party of a new president always does well in midterms, and, save for just a few instances over the past century, generally takes control of the legislative branch.
But these haven't been typical times, and Donald Trump isn't a typical de facto leader of the Republican Party.
There's a reasonable chance that his continued presence in the political world will have an impact in 2022, and not in the way Republicans want. While Trump is great at rallying the party's base, he's not so great at getting a majority of voters within the general electorate to back him (national popular vote losses in 2016 and 2020) or candidates he likes to win in close races.
So if Trump's popularity keeps dipping, that's bad for Republicans...since it's not going to dip within their own party's primaries.
Here's what could happen: Trump voters will back his endorsements, causing them to win the nominations and face off against Democrats. Some of those endorsements will win, in Republican-reliable districts. But in the places where it matters, the swing districts all across the country, their attachment to Trump will lead to more losses than the GOP will want to see.
Voters overall have a unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump, with only 37 percent saying they like him in the Quinnipiac poll, versus nearly 6-in-10 (57 percent) who say they don't like him.
But that's just the beginning of Republicans' troubles.
In the same poll, respondents were asked whether they preferred to see candidates win that mostly agree or disagree with his policy views. Fifty-three percent said they wanted to vote for candidates that disagreed with Trump; just 39 percent suggested they'd back Trump-based choices.
Lastly, the poll also asked who respondents wanted to see in control of the House of Representatives. On that, Democrats failed to get a majority of respondents to back them, but they still garnered more support from Americans (49 percent) than what Republicans got in the survey (just 40 percent).
Unless Democrats become entrenched in a huge scandal between now and next year, the midterm races are going to be extremely tight — so much so that Biden and the Dems may defy the odds and remain in control (which, to be sure, would be a good thing).