There are a few road markers along the way which help show the trouble Republicans face as they travel the highway towards the mid-term elections. One, for example, was the 36-point turnaround for Democrats in the recent Ohio-12th Congressional race. It doesn't matter who ends up winning that once-incredibly safe GOP seat now in a recount (and which will have another election in two months) -- what the warning sign said is that almost no seat is safe for Republicans and they have to spend their resources where they didn't expect to.
Another road marker popped up yesterday when its results were announced. And the most important news in the poll was not about Trump. It was about some under-the-wire details.
First, most notable, was the answer to the question about approval ratings for specific issues. And it showed that Obamacare had a 51% approval, even with all the efforts by Trump to dismantle it. But even more importantly -- not just for the pure number alone, but most especially for its comparison to the Obamacare approval and perspective -- is that public approval of the Trump tax cuts was only 40%!
It's pretty difficult to imagine any tax cuts only having a 40% approval, but far worse when it's that much behind health care which Trump has been slamming since before even being elected.
And second, was a poll result that showed 58% of Americans were in favor of a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally. Only 32% were against things.
Oh, and I left out one of the most important facts about this poll. Who it's from. No, this isn't a poll fro a some under-the-wire, left leaning organization. This is from a "Fox News" Poll. You can read the full results here.
There are a lot of other results in the poll, but those three are the "road markers" to me that speak loudly in their importance. That's because they take away from Republicans probably the two issues they were most-expecting to campaign on campaign on in the mid-terms.
There hasn't been a great deal good in the news for Republican candidates to point to in their campaigning. Standing by Trump might be a great issue in a GOP primary, but not a general election. But bringing you the Trump tax cuts, "repealing-and-replacing" that awful Obamacare, and immigration protection to Keep You Safe are the three gems they certainly must have thought they had.
And now -- whammo.
It's pretty hard to run on the great tax cuts when only 40% of the public likes them. It's pretty hard to run on working to dismantle and repeal healthcare when a majority of Americans want it. And it's pretty hard to run against immigration when the public is for it by a margin of 2-to-1.
And again, remember, this is from a "Fox News" polls. It's easy to figure that this don't skew liberal.
On the "Fox News" website, people there were outraged, as you might imagine. But this wasn't an opinion piece, this was pure numbers. Nothing more than data. Actual facts, not "alternative" ones.
To be clear, none of this is proof of anything. And there is much more involved in getting a sense of how the mid-term elections will turn out. It's just some more road signs. But when you see a lot of yellow caution lights, it's a good idea to slow down and look around, rather than keep driving fast off the cliff.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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