Pollyanna Looks at the Numbers

glad game

I took a look once again at the 2018 House Popular Vote Tracker, and compared what it shows as of this morning with fivethirtyeight.com’s daily tracker of Trump’s popularity.

Let’s begin with the latter, which shows averages of recent polls for “all adults,” “likely and registered voters,” and the two combined. Among “all adults,” Trump is under water by 10.7 points (the difference between the 52.7 percent who “disapprove” and the 42.0 percent who “approve.”

When we look at “polls of likely or registered voters,” the gap narrows down to 7.2 percent. (51.6 percent “disapprove” while 44.2 percent “approve.”)

Hold those thoughts, please, as we look at the data on the folks who actually showed up to vote in 2018 House races. (Even now, there are votes yet to be counted, but I’ll disregard that for now.)

The data show, as of this morning, that 53.1 percent voted for the Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in their district, 45.1 percent voted for the Republican candidate, and 1.7 percent voted for an independent or third party candidate.

I conclude that the 45.1 percent 2018 Republican voters was made up pretty much entirely of Trump supporters. There is still a small group of people who vote Republican even though they “disapprove” of Trump, but at this point they are less than one percent of all voters.

Unless Trump receives a personality implant, he has reached his high water mark.

Now look at the Democrats’ share of actual 2018 voters: 53.1 percent. That’s significantly more than the 51.6 percent of “likely or registered voters” who told a pollster they “disapproved” of Trump.

Where did that extra 1.5 percent come from? Part of the explanation, one would suppose, is that Democratic voters had a greater propensity to vote this year than the likely voter models predicted. And I have to believe some of them were Republican women who, with their husbands listening in, told the pollster they “approved” of Trump, but then went to the polls and voted for the Democrat.

I’d also note that our 53.1 percent of actual Democratic voters even exceeds the 52.7 percent of “all adults” who “disapprove” of Trump.

So, don’t take it from Pollyanna. Take it from Politico: Warning signs mount for Trump reelection bid.


Over the last two days I seem to have acquired some readers in the Netherlands. Goedemiddag, y’all.