With the most important midterm in U.S. history less than six weeks away, a new poll by Fox News hands Republicans a five-gallon bucket and 10 gallons of bad news to cram in it.
On policy questions, their goals and causes are unpopular. The leading personality in the GOP, the man who has remade the party in his own image, is unpopular. The man whom they’re fighting to install in the U.S. Supreme Court? Unpopular. And the reputation of the party itself?
According to Fox, just 36 percent of American voters still believe that Republicans “love America and truly want what’s best for the country,” while 52 percent say Republicans “simply want what’s best for their party, even if it hurts the country.” That’s a 16-point margin.
(For comparison’s sake, 44 percent say that Democrats want what’s best for the country, while 43 percent say they put party first.)
As to other issues:
Fox asked voters if they want to “make changes so that more people would have health insurance, even if it costs the government more money,” or whether they prefer to “reduce government spending, even if it means fewer people would have insurance.”
Sixty-five percent want government to insure more people, even if it costs us more. Just 25 percent support the GOP goal of cutting government health-insurance spending. Even among Republicans, 44 percent want to spend more money to insure more people, while 41 percent oppose it.
Cutting taxes was supposed to be the centerpiece of the GOP midterm strategy, and they’ve been rewarded for that vote with multimillion-dollar campaign donations from those who benefited most from it. However, when Fox asked voters whether they themselves had seen evidence of the tax cuts in their paychecks, just 36 percent said yes; 59 percent said no.
Fox asked voters whether Trump cares about people like themselves. Thirty-eight percent said yes; 56 percent said no. Among female voters, just 29 percent said that Trump cares about people like themselves, while 62 percent say he does not. Among suburban women, Trump was underwater on this question by a stunning 40-point margin.
And when asked, 29 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who campaigned alongside Trump; 44 percent said it would make them less likely to back that candidate.
THE MUELLER PROBE
What would voters advise Robert Mueller “for the good of the country?” According to Fox, 55 percent would tell him to take his time and do the job right; just 36 percent endorse Trump’s demand to “wrap it up already.”
Overall, 57 percent say they support the Mueller probe; 38 percent oppose it.
According to Fox, just 40 percent of registered voters would vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; 50 percent would reject him. Suburban women, a key voting group in the midterms, would reject Kavanaugh by 63-32 percent, a ratio of almost two-to-one.
And while Republicans insist on holding a vote on Kavanaugh as soon as possible and avoiding additional hearings, voters strongly disagree. Fifty-nine percent want to delay Senate confirmation to allow time for additional hearings and investigation; 31 percent want the Senate to vote without delay.
In the end, of course, what voters tell pollsters will not matter in the least. What will matter — the only thing that matters — is who turns out to actually vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. However, if I’m a Republican consultant looking at numbers like these, I wouldn’t know where to turn for a winning issue.