Congressional Republicans are facing a mid-term election wipeout fueled by voter resistance to President Donald Trump, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
The survey, six weeks before Americans head to the polls, shows Democrats leading Republicans by 52 percent to 40 percent for control of Congress. If it holds, that 12 percentage point margin would suggest a "blue wave" large enough to switch control of not just the House but also the Senate.
"The results could not be clearer about making a change in direction from Trump's policies," explained Bill McInturff, the Republican pollster who helps conduct the NBC/WSJ survey. "Once again, Americans are hitting the brakes in a mid-term."
In each of the last three off-year elections — 2006, 2010 and 2014 — voters have flipped control of one or both houses of Congress away from the incumbent president's party. This year, the provocative behavior some voters accepted from Candidate Trump in 2016 has overshadowed everything else, including falling unemployment, surging growth and rising stock values.
"Donald Trump's presidency has been about one thing: Donald Trump," said Peter Hart, McInturff's Democratic counterpart on the survey. "He makes himself bigger than the economy. In 2018, he has become Typhoid Trump, infecting most GOP candidates he supports."
What makes that conclusion all the more striking is that Trump's job approval rating, now 44 percent, has inched five points higher since January. But 52 percent disapprove, and loyalty to Trump among his core supporters — white men without college degrees, rural residents, those aged 50-64 — is not lifting GOP candidates, as voters focus on their November choices.