Democrats can thank women voters for their surging advantage on a generic ballot ahead of the hugely important 2018 midterm elections, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll has found. Although white women supported Trump by nine points in 2016 and Republicans by 14 points in the 2014 midterm, the demographic has since swung to favor Democrats over Republicans by 12 points on a generic ballot.
Overall, women voters now favor Democrats by a 26-point advantage, double Hillary Clinton's margin in 2016. Independents have also swung to favor Democrats, 50 percent to 34 percent. "The swing group has been decisive in three consecutive midterm election waves, backing Republicans by 19 points in 2010 and 12 points in 2014, but supporting Democrats by 18 points in 2006 as they retook control of the House," The Washington Post writes.
Across the board, Democrats have a 15-point advantage over Republicans on a generic ballot among likely voters. In the same Washington Post/ABC News poll in November, that margin was slightly smaller, at 11 points. Experts caution that none of this means the Democrats will necessarily take back the House, qualifying a flip as "possible" but not "likely." Even though the margin looks impressive — and Democrats are only thought to need about an eight-point advantage to gain the 24 seats to win the House — some experts say the party could nevertheless "fall five seats short even if they won all contests the Cook Political Report classifies as solidly Democratic, leaning Democratic, or toss-ups," the Post adds.