New poll looks bad for Republicans. Then it gets worse

Fresh polling from 61 battleground districts shows House Republicans have good cause to be worried about losing their paper-thin majority this November. 

Generic results from the polling conducted by the progressive consortium Navigator Research start out badly for Republicans:

  • Favorability ratings of both congressional Republicans and Democrats are underwater, but Republicans are 10 points less popular (-21 to -11).

  • Nearly 2 in 3 voters in these districts say House Republicans are prioritizing the “wrong things.”

  • Nearly 2 in 3 battleground voters also view congressional Republicans as “more focused” on noneconomic issues, with just 23% calling them “more focused” on economic issues.

None of that is particularly great for House Republicans, but wait—there’s more. When Navigator moves away from generic comparisons between the parties and actually names individual lawmakers from voters’ districts, things really fall apart for the GOP.

  • Named Democratic lawmakers score a net-positive favorable rating from their constituents (41% favorable to 34% unfavorable) while named Republican lawmakers are 4 points underwater (36% favorable to 40% unfavorable).

  • In job approval ratings, named Democrats outperform named Republicans at net +5 points (40% positive to 35% negative) versus net -6 points (33% positive to 39% negative).

And while Republicans are generally more trusted than Democrats on handling the economy (44% to 35%) and fighting inflation (42% to 32%), start naming names and Democratic lawmakers outperform their GOP counterparts.

How would you rate [named Democratic lawmaker] on the economy? 34% positive to 37% negative (net -3).

How would you rate [named Republican lawmaker] on the economy? 29% positive to 40% negative (net -11).

Meanwhile named Democratic lawmakers are trouncing named Republicans on issues that usually include a built-in bias for Democrats:

  • On abortion, 57% trust their Democratic representative “a lot” or “somewhat,” compared to just 26% who trust their Republican representative at least “somewhat.”

  • On making health care and prescription drugs more affordable, 54% trust their Democratic representative “a lot” or “somewhat,” compared to just 35% who trust their Republican representative at least “somewhat.”

  • On protecting democracy, 51% trust their Democratic representative “a lot” or “somewhat,” compared to just 41% who trust their Republican representative at least “somewhat.”

Apparently, the only thing worse than being a Republican in Congress is being a named battleground Republican in Congress.

And while that may not seem particularly odd to progressive voters and Democrats, it is actually a break from the norm. A common phenomenon among local lawmakers is that by virtue of their personal relationships within a district, constituents often view them more favorably—or at least as favorably—as they view the party as a whole.

According to this polling, that is often not the case for Republican legislators sitting in battleground districts—which makes it all the more ominous.

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