Congress’ approval rating continues at a subterranean level.

  Approve Disapprove
Real Clear Politics 7/25 15.2% 73.2%
Real Clear Politics 7/5 15.7% 72%
Real Clear Politics 6/5 16.6% 70.6%
Real Clear Politics 5/1 16.6% 72.6%
Real Clear Politics 4/2 13.6% 75%
Real Clear Politics 3/2 15.8% 72.6%
Real Clear Politics 2/4 16.2% 73.9%
Real Clear Politics 1/4/18 15.8% 72.6%

Three national polls find Democrats leading on the question of whether folks want Democrats or Republicans to control the Congress after the 2018 elections.

Dem GOP    
49% 43% 7/15-18 NBC/WSJ
49% 37% 7/17-23 Kaiser Family Foundation
51% 39% 7/18-23 Quinnipiac

Only one-third of Americans believe that Democratic or Republican candidates for Congress are generally in the mainstream of most American’s thinking.

  In the Mainstream Out of Step
Republican candidates for Congress 33% 57%
Democratic candidates for Congress 33% 56%

Over the last two years the biggest change has come among Democratic candidates for Congress. In July 2016, 48% of Democratic candidates were seen as in the mainstream while 31% of Republican candidates were seen as in the mainstream. [NBC/WSJ, 7/18/18]

By a modest majority of 51% to 43% Americans believe that American elections are fair and open. 84% say that federal election laws are necessary to ensure fair elections. 87% say that political ads on TV should be required to say who paid for them. [Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics, 7/6/18]

The House of Representatives

[WW uses David Wasserman and the Cook Political Report for the House chart below. 7/24/18]

Heading into the 2018 election there are 42 open seats currently held by Republicans.

  • Democrats 195
  • Republicans 240
  Democrats Republicans
Safe in 2018 181 153
Likely 12 28
Lean 9 26
Tossup 2 24

The fourth ranking House Democrat, Joe Crowley, an almost 20 year House veteran, lost the Democratic primary in the NY 14th congressional district to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s, a Latina democratic-socialist. She won the old fashioned way-on the ground. She won by 15 points; 57.5% to 42.5% or 15,897 votes to 11,761 votes. There are 235,745 registered Democrats in the district, only 11.8% of them thought it was important enough to come out and vote.

Ocasio-Cortez was a Bernie Sanders organizer in 2016. She was out spent by about 10 times. The district is 48% Latino and 24% white. [Cook Political]

Ocasio-Cortez has since become busy campaigning for other House candidates of similar persuasion.

Meanwhile Crowley will also be on the ballot as the candidate of the Working Families Party in the 14th District. Stay tuned.

86% of House Republicans are white men as compared to House Democrats in which 32.7% are women and 39.7% are white men. [Legistorm/Pew, Bruce Mehlman]

The Senate

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

There have been a few changes since the last issue of the Watch. Likely Democrat seats grew from 4 to 5. While there is no other actual change, there is some evidence that Heitkamp’s position may have weakened. On the Republican side there have been no changes.

At the moment the best that the Democrats can hope to do is get to 50/50. In order for that to happen, the Democrats would have to hold four of the five seats in the Democratic toss-ups below and the Republicans would have to lose two of the three seats they have in the toss-up column.

  • Republicans 51
  • Democrats 47
  • Independents 2
  Democrats Republicans
Seats not up in 2018 23 42
Safe in 2018 16 5
Likely 5
Toss-Ups 5
Arizona (open)
Tennessee (open)