While it’s still weird to see President Trump bragging about outlier polls that show him with a 49 percent approval rating, there are signs that Trump’s numbers are inching upwards, thanks in part to the economy. There has also been a tightening in generic ballot midterm polls, suggesting that Republicans might be able to hold on to Congress.
But there are other signs that things are still dire for the GOP heading into the midterms. Even with recent tightening, Democrats still have a five-point lead in generic polling. And Democratic challengers are out-raising Republican incumbents. Per Politico, more than 40 House Republicans were outraised in 2017 by Democrats—in some cases, by multiple Democrats. And according to Politico, “the trendline is getting worse, not better. Despite the myriad advantages of incumbency and control of Congress, there are more House members with less cash on hand than their Democratic challengers than the quarter before.”
This is a big deal going into a crucial election year. While Republicans just got a financial boost from Speaker Paul Ryan, they’re still in a hole. And, given Trump’s tendency to shoot himself in the foot, there’s a good reason to believe that this polling upswing—which, it should be noted, still puts Trump and Republicans in a hole—will not last.