The Congress as a whole remains in a state of substantial disapproval by the folks who elected them and there seems little prospect for that changing any time soon. Going back at least ten years it is not possible to find a time when approval of Congress exceeded disapproval.

  Approve Disapprove
Reuters/Ipsos 10/31/17 22% 69%
Reuters/Ipsos 9/26/17 20% 69%
Monmouth 9/19/17 15% 73%
Fox News 8/29/17 15% 74%
Quinnipiac 8/23/17 10% 83%
CBS News 8/6/17 19% 73%
CNN/ORC 4/25/17 22% 75%

Members of Congress don’t do much better when the question is about the members of one party or the other.

  GOP members Approve / Disapprove DEM members Approve / Disapprove
ABC/WP 9/21/17 22% / 69% 35% / 57%
ABC/WP 10/18/15 24% / 71% 35% / 59%
ABC/WP 9/7/14 21% / 72% 33% / 61%
ABC/WP 3/10/13 24% / 72% 34% / 61%
ABC/WP 3/10/12 23% / 71% 34% / 60%

Preference for control of Congress in upcoming elections [NBC/WSJ]

  Republican controlled Democratic controlled The result
10/17 41% 48%  
9/17 42% 48%  
6/17 42% 50%  
10/16 44% 46% RSen RHouse
11/14 42% 46% RSen RHouse
10/12 43% 45% DSen RHouse
1/10 46% 44% DSen RHouse
10/08 36% 49% DSen DHouse
10/06 37% 52% DSen DHouse
10/04 43% 44% RSen DHouse
10/02 43% 42% RSen RHouse

In mid-October I emailed the following question to a person for whom I have great respect for her political knowledge and judgement.

“Do you think there is a real prospect for Democrats to take back the House in 2018?”

Her answer was, “Still not better than 50-50 now. Need a number of things to break their way; more retirements in GOP seats that are competitive; continued dysfunction in Congress including intra-party fighting between Trump and GOP; Ds get “right” candidates out of their primaries.”

Following last Tuesday’s election results she emailed me with a slightly more positive point of view particularly because of the continuing announcements by current Republicans in the House of Representatives who are retiring.

According to a WP/ABC survey of registered voters, 51% said they were more likely to support the Democrat candidate in the 2018 House races and 40% said they were more likely to support the Republican candidate. This is a +11 point spread for the Democrats.

However, when the potential voting group in the survey was limited to those people who said they had voted in the last mid-term and planned to vote in 2018, the Democrats margin dropped 9 points to 48% to 46%. In a couple of the previous mid-terms the Democrats also had a small edge and the GOP prevailed.

At this point in time, 24% of respondents say their vote will be in support of Trump and 27% say their vote will show opposition to Trump. [WP/ABC survey, 10/29-11/17]

[WW uses the Cook Political Report for the House chart below.]

The House of Representatives

  • Democrats 194
  • Republicans 239
  • Vacancies 2
  Democrats Republicans
Safe in 2017 174 180
Likely 11 25
Lean 7 23
Tossup 3 12

Quorum Analytics has calculated the number of bills cosponsored by the ten members of each party in the House who have cosponsored the most and the fewest number of bills originally authored by a member of the other party.

The top 10 Democrats who have cosponsored the most Republican sponsored bills in the 115th Congress cosponsored an average 119.4 Republican bills.

The top 10 Republicans who have cosponsored the most Democrat sponsored bills cosponsored an average of 61.9 Democrat bills.

The top 10 Democrats who have cosponsored the fewest Republican sponsored bills cosponsored an average of 11.8 Republican bills.

The top 10 Republicans who have co-sponsored the fewest Democrat sponsored bills cosponsored an average of 0.6 Democrat bills. Four Republicans sponsored no Democrat authored bills and 6 only sponsored a single Democrat authored bill.

[WW uses a combination of the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and Sabato to create the Senate chart below.]

The two Democratic seats and one Independent seat that were seen as “Safe” in the September issue of the Watch have now dropped down one level to “Likely”. These seats are in New Jersey, Michigan and Maine. On the Republican side of the aisle, with the retirement of Flake, Arizona drops from “Lean Republican” to a “Toss Up”.

The prospects of the Democrats taking over the Senate are less than limited.

The Senate

  • Democrats 52
  • Republicans 46
  • Independents 2
  Democrats Republicans
Seats not up in 2018 23 43
Safe in 2018 12 6
Likely 7
Lean 3

Tossup 3

What goes around comes around

Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn voted against some of the relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy that savaged New Jersey and environs on the grounds that it contained unrelated pork. The Congressional Research Service reported that there were a few small unrelated provisions. “Strangely enough” they both voted for the recent bill for the initial aid for hurricanes Harvey and Irma.