Speed Reads

Poll Watch

Democrats are heavy favorites on a generic 2018 ballot. Here's why that doesn't guarantee a liberal wave.

Democrats are poised for potentially sweeping victories in the 2018 midterm elections — if only they would show up to vote. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that hypothetical Democratic candidates are favored by voters against their Republican counterparts 51 percent to 40 percent. But "winnow down to those who say they voted in the last midterms and are certain to do so again and the contest snaps essentially to a dead heat, 48-46 percent," ABC News writes.

Democrats have often led generic ballots ahead of midterm elections, only for Republicans to surge ahead in the actual results, such as in 2010 and 2014. Still, the last time the Post and ABC News found such a significant spread in their hypothetical election poll was in October 2006, before a major Democratic wave.

That doesn't mean Democrats don't have their work cut out for them. The poll "suggests Democrats' antipathy toward Trump has not translated to greater motivation to vote, with an identical 63 percent of Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning registered voters saying they are absolutely certain to vote next year," the Post writes.

The poll reached 1,005 adults over cell phones and landlines between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, with a margin of error of 3.5 points. Read more about the results here.