A new CBS poll says that if the 2018 midterm were held today, Democrats would win back a majority in the House—but just barely. Luckily for Democrats, that poll indicates a way to move the needle, and it doesn’t look like it’s the Russia investigation.
For a party that’s looking for a wave to materialize, the Democrats aren’t getting a great grade on what they’re doing now. According to the CBS poll, just 48 percent of voters say that that the Democrats are trying a lot or somewhat to address issues they care about, which is only slightly higher than the 43 percent who think Republicans are trying to address the issues they care about. And while 73 percent of Republicans say their vote is more for the Republican Party and Donald Trump than against the Democratic Party, roughly an equal number of those who said they were voting for the Democratic Party said that they were voting against Trump and the Republicans.
So what do they want? CBS asked Democratic voters specifically what they want to hear more of from their candidates, and over three quarters (78 percent) said they want Democrats to talk about universal healthcare “a lot,” followed by economic opportunity (73 percent) and civil rights and social justice (71 percent). 57 percent want Democrats to talk about legal status for DACA recipients “a lot.”
And when the broader pool of voters were asked what they wanted to hear candidates talk about, 66 percent of those asked about healthcare said they want to hear candidates talk about it “a lot” and 27 percent said “some.” Only 7 percent said “not much.” Similarly, 58 percent of those asked about jobs and wages said they want to hear candidates talk about it “a lot” and 36 percent said some. The Russia investigation? Not so much. Just 23 percent of voters want candidates to talk about it, while a majority — 51 percent — said “not much.”
This isn’t exactly breaking news; Democrats won a huge election in Virginia last year on the backs of a gubernatorial candidate (Ralph Northam) and state legislative candidates who promised to expand Medicaid, which they recently achieved after seven years of Republican obstruction. And Medicaid expansion is picking up steam even in deep-red states like Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska.