I wrote earlier today that Donald Trump is not as unpopular as we are led to believe. My point wasn’t that he is popular, but that he is just popular enough that he could win reelection if he added about five more percentage points to his approval rating amongst likely voters (which sits at an alarming 45%, per Rasmussen).
Most polling number-crunchers say that a wave election happens at around +8, so the +17 advantage the Democrats enjoy on a generic ballot in the new Quinnipiac poll is a legit tsunami. Only 35% of Americans want the Republicans to control the House, compared to 52% who prefer the Democrats (36% and 53% for the Senate). Thanks to gerrymandering and a wide array of local issues, this is not a hard and fast rule that applies to every race in the House and Senate (one forecast projects 54% of the vote to translate to winning 47% of available seats), but it is a great indicator of the direction that public opinion is shifting. Donald Trump is a historically unpopular president, and it sure seems as if the Republican Party is less popular than Trump. Not to mention, the diversity of candidates on their way is far more vast than any wave in this country’s history.
Some other encouraging highlights from this Quinnipiac poll:
— 58% want marijuana legalized, with the only age group opposed being 65 and over.
— 91% want marijuana legalized for medicinal purposes if prescribed by a doctor.
— 70% oppose federal measures like the one Jeff Sessions recently took to overrule state laws on marijuana.
— 79% believe that immigrants brought here as kids (DACA) should be able to apply for citizenship.
— 34% want to build a wall on our southern border.
— 52% disapprove of the Republican tax plan.
— 66% believe the wealthy will benefit the most from the GOP tax plan.
— 61% do not want the Justice Department to reopen an investigation into Hillary’s e-mail server.
— 59% believe that Robert Mueller is conducting a fair investigation in to Trump.
— 56% believe that Trump has attempted to derail or obstruct Mueller’s investigation.
Opinion polls are nice and all, but as I wrote in my piece about Trump’s surprising popularity, voting is the only area where your opinion really matters. These encouraging results don’t mean anything unless we follow through at the ballot box.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.