The Corner


-7: It Could Be Much Worse

The new NBC/WSJ poll has the Democratic lead on the generic ballot at 7 points, down a little from its last survey:

President Donald Trump’s late campaign blitz targeting immigrants has rallied the Republican base of white working-class voters, helping to curb the Democratic advantage heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections for Congress.

The election-eve NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Democrats leading by seven percentage points, 50 percent to 43 percent, among likely voters. That’s down from a nine-percentage point lead last month.

That slightly narrowing reflects rising interest in the election from the foundation of Trump’s support: white men, especially older, less educated, less affluent ones in small towns and rural areas. Most noteworthy for a midterm election, the 2018 campaign has seized the attention of voters at presidential-campaign levels — and Trump has helped Republicans wipe out the advantage Democrats held earlier in the campaign.

“There has been some method to his madness,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducts the NBC/WSJ survey with his Democratic counterpart Peter Hart. “The base is coming home.”

The conventional wisdom is that a Republican deficit of 6 on the generic ballot is survivable. So, if this poll is accurate, it would point to a narrow loss, with holding the House not out of the question. On the other hand, again if this poll is accurate, close defeats in a bunch of districts could still make it a very bad night.


Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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