New Jersey Democrats in Strong Position to Flip GOP Districts

Scott Olson  Getty Images North America

Scott Olson Getty Images North America

An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll conducted from April 8-11 - the same time frame as the Post-ABC poll - found a 7-point advantage in the generic congressional ballot for Democrats, down from a 10-point edge in March. Almost 68 percent of both Republican-leaning and Democratic-leaning registered voters say they are certain they will vote in November elections, which contrasts with the Post-ABC polling before the 2010 and 2014 midterm cycles.

Democrats won the statewide House vote by eight percentage points in 2016 and an even smaller two in the 2014 midterm.

The generic ballot - asking people if they'd vote for the Republican or the Democratic candidate in their congressional district - is a rough gauge, in part because so many seats are not seriously contested, often due at least in part to gerrymandering.

Republican members of Congress breathed a sigh of relief Monday with new polls showing GOP legislators closing the gap with liberal lawmakers; cutting the Democratic edge to five points just months before voters head to the polls. Republicans averaged a double-digit advantage in intentions to vote and Democrats suffered major losses in both years.

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The poll's vote share in the seven seats now held by Democrats - a 31 percentage point gap - is in line with the average 30-point advantage Democrats held in these districts in both 2016 and 2014.

"This is pretty astounding".

Factors at play include a slide in self-reported registration among Democrats, which is a sign of waning engagement; consolidation among Republicans of their base; and better results for the GOP among less-educated Americans generally, and non-college-educated white women in particular.

The Post-ABC poll also showed a slight uptick in President Donald Trump's approval rating as well, with 40% approving and 56% disapproving of how he is handling his job.

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Many New Jerseyans aren't fans of the new federal tax law, either.

Ever since its enactment, the tax plan has been more unpopular than popular, Journal/NBC News polls found. Republicans hoped that would change after the law began to take effect, as more money showed up in paychecks and Republicans did more to explain the benefits.

Under Mr. Trump, deficit reduction and spending restraint have taken a back seat to the GOP's push to cut taxes and its support for a bipartisan budget deal that raised defense and domestic spending. Just 19 percent expect their taxes to go down, while another 25 percent think there will be no impact.

Overall, 47 percent of registered voters told WaPo they prefer Democratic candidates in their district, while 43 percent favor the GOP.

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The poll surveyed 703 new-jersey adults by telephone April 610, 6 32 of whom are registered Republicans.

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