How Trump made GOP control more likely post-November

Monday, the White House announced a new agreement among Mexico, Canada, and the USA to end the NAFTA treaty and replace it with the USMCA treaty.  Donald Trump has managed to confound the pundits again and get an agreement likely to expand the economy of the USA.  His genus is that he managed to give both Canada and Mexico a winning situation, so all nations benefit.  The loser is likely to be China, as more material sourcing and manufacturing will occur in North America.  With improved economic conditions, the Republicans hope to maintain control of both houses of Congress.

This is more likely since Monday's announcement.  The latest polling data indicate that the Republican base is coalescing behind nominees of its party.  A Marist poll conducted 9/26/18 shows that 93% of Republicans intend to vote for the members of Congress from their districts compared to 88% a month ago.  Further, the generic poll found that Democrats lead 48-41% but that the range has narrowed since last month, when it was 12%.  Those data were collected just after the death of Senator McCain, when the media ran wall-to-wall coverage aimed at hurting Donald Trump.  That damage has now passed us.

In the Midwest, the lead in generic polling shows Democrats leading, 48-43%, but that has narrowed from 51-37% a month ago.  This substantial change shows how fluid the election outcome may be.  With all the negative news in the mainstream media, one would doubt that Donald Trump has any support nationwide.  In this poll, 87% of Republicans approve of Trump’s job performance compared to 81% a month ago.  Nationwide Trump’s approval rating is at 42%, up 3% in a month.  With about 5 weeks to go before the election, this gap is likely to continue to narrow.  Most analysts argue that a gap of over 6% equates with a change in control of the House.  One should also note that in this poll the percentage of Democrats exceeds Republicans.

The Democrats are motivated to turn out, as they want to undo the 2016 election.  However, recent developments may encourage a more substantial Republican turnout.  This may give Republicans an edge.  The Brett Kavanaugh nomination process is a national disgrace.  The blooding of Kavanaugh with unsubstantiated allegations by Dr. Ford and the later accusers is threatening to mothers who fear the same treatment against their sons.  This might narrow the gender gap, where women substantially support Democratic candidates.  Mark Penn has shown that when people are told that the three witnesses provided by Dr. Ford do not agree with her contentions, polling numbers supporting her decline significantly.

In a Harris poll released today, Trump’s approval rating is now 46%.  The Real Clear Politics poll average is 44%, so this is consistent.  Generally, approval of the president helps mitigate the damage in midterm elections, where the party not in the White House gains seats (generally over 25).  In the Senate, ten Democrats from red states are struggling to maintain their seats.  It is likely now that Republicans will gain one or more seats.

Polling has missed the anger with the establishment that helped Trump win the presidency.  That disaffection has not gone away.  Trump has improved the situation between North Korea and the USA.  South Korean president Moon Jae-in gives Trump most of the credit.  When Trump came to office, we were fighting ISIS, but now it is mostly in ruins.  The growth of the job market, especially in manufacturing, has been another Trump success.  The trade agreement with South Korea is another milestone.  The reduction of federal regulations has helped businesses throughout the nation.  The tax reduction act has provided a boom, returning almost $500 billion in assets from overseas.  Farmers have seen the benefit of supporting Trump by this agreement with Canada.  Finally, Americans now understand the level of corruption within government agencies, such as the Justice Department and the FBI.  Now they want the wall built and Obamacare replaced.  This can occur only with Republicans in charge.