The Shutdown Might Be Hurting the GOP’s Chances in Next Year’s Election

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Poll analyst extraordinaire Sam Wang thinks that things are looking fairly bleak for Republicans right now:

PPP surveyed 24 Congressional districts currently held by Republicans. They asked voters to choose between their current representative and a generic Democrat….The swing was toward Democrats for 23 races [] and toward the Republican for 1 race.

….Since the election is over a year away, it is hard to predict how this will translate to future seat gain/loss. If the election were held today, Democrats would pick up around 30 seats, giving them control of the chamber. I do not expect this to happen.

….In a followup series of questions, PPP then told respondents that their representative voted for the shutdown. At that point, the average swing moved a further 3.1% toward Democrats….That would be more like a 50-seat gain for Democrats — equivalent to a wave election. An analyst would have to be crazy to predict that!

I would echo Wang’s caution. It’s quite normal for Democrats to perform well in generic congressional polls 6-9 months before a midterm election, so this probably doesn’t mean much. As for the shutdown, I think it’s an open question whether that’s still going to be a live issue by next November. It might be! Or it might have been completely forgotten. I just wouldn’t put much stock in this either way.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest