Speed Reads

2018 elections

Republicans appear to be losing suburban voters. That's a bad sign for 2018.

With the caveat that a year is a long time in politics, the 2018 midterms are looking increasingly challenging for the Republican Party. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday, 50 percent of registered voters said they'd prefer Democrats control Congress versus 39 percent who picked Republicans — the best numbers for Democrats since before their 2008 wave. "All in all, I think a 41 percent Trump approval and an +11D lead in the control of Congress definitely puts control of the Senate and the House as more doable for Democrats in 2018," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang.

Democrats enjoyed a 20-point lead among women, a 2-point advantage among men, and a 48-point lead among voters 18 to 34; they lost whites without a college education by 12 points, NBC News says. But that gives Democrats a long-awaited opening in the suburbs. "From Texas to Illinois, Kansas to Kentucky, there are Republican districts filled with college-educated, affluent voters who appear to be abandoning their usually conservative leanings," The New York Times reports, continuing:

The mounting backlash to President Trump that is threatening his party's control of Congress is no longer confined just to swing districts on either coast. Officials in both parties believe that Republican control of the House is now in grave jeopardy because a group of districts that are historically Republican or had been trending that way before the 2016 election are slipping away. ... The suburban revolt, which began in a handful of little-noticed special elections and then exploded last month in governor's and state House races in Virginia, was on display again on Tuesday in Alabama, where Doug Jones, a Democrat, claimed a stunning Senate win thanks to African-Americans and upscale whites. [The New York Times]

Republicans see hope in "internecine Democratic fights" that lead to "messy primaries and leftward pressure on candidates" in more moderate districts, the Times notes. You can read more about the GOP's suburban problems at The New York Times.