A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of 900 registered voters (645 of whom self-identify as “likely voters”) brings surprising results. Of note are President Trump’s new approval ratings, Americans’ assessment of what matters most in the midterm elections, and especially their view on which party would best address the #1 issue of the day. And on that, they say it’s not even close. With the midterm election just around the corner, the new survey brings encouraging news to one political party – and it may not be the party you would think.
Let’s consider the poll’s findings in three areas.
1. President Trump’s approval numbers
Traditionally recognized as perhaps the most accurate of national polls, NBC News/Wall Street Journal has just found President Trump’s approval numbers hitting a record high. For the nearly two years of his presidency, his approval numbers have ranged from 39 percent to 46 percent. But the new survey, taken from October 14 to 17, sets Trump’s approval numbers at a record high of 47 percent.
2. Americans’ #1 issue
By a plurality, Americans rate the economy as the number one issue. Twenty-one percent say the economy stands atop all issues in terms of importance. And herein lies good news for Republicans, as those surveyed said they trust Republicans over Democrats to handle the economy by a 15-point margin, 43 percent to 28 percent. This bodes well for Republicans fighting to keep their electoral majorities in Congress.
3. The next two issues
But not all in this poll is good news for Republicans. On the two issues that matter most – after the economy – Americans favor Democrats. Voters prefer Democratic positions on immigration (+18 percent) and health care (+4 percent).
The new survey is a mixed bag for both parties. But one thing seems apparent. The massive “blue wave” that has been assumed by the mainstream press may turn out to be little more than a ripple.