Republicans rejoiced over Christmas when the tax cut shot the party up in the polls. But now voters are asking: What have you done for me lately?
Because polling 535 different House districts is impractical, and turnout swings tend to be consistent across the whole country on average, for House elections in mid-terms we tend to use the Generic Ballot as the barometer of the election.
The Generic Ballot asks voters a simple question, roughly this: In the coming Congressional election, would you prefer to vote for the Republican or the Democrat? In years when Republicans have done well, Republicans have won that poll. In years when Democrats do well, Democrats won the poll.
On December 25, the Republicans were in really bad shape in the Generic Ballot poll average, down 49-36 for a D+13 advantage. However by the start of this month, that was turning around. On February 4, the Democrat lead was down to 44-38, for a D+6 edge. At their peak, Republicans hit a 39 in the average.
But the Republican surge has been fading this month. In fact over the last week, Republicans have crashed back down to a 36, pushing the Democrat lead back to 9. The bounce is gone. Republicans can’t run on one bill for an entire year.
Unless they can get some more accomplishments done this year, Republicans may be set to lose a large number of House seats, and even the majority.