Generic ballot polls may not be predictable

National Journal: “What’s changed? Polarization – at two levels. By setting a Republican-friendly map for the 2022 election, Gerimandering has reached new heights with fewer competitive seats than we’ve seen in decades. The map isn’t usually new to Republicans. There was a need to maintain an advantage over the generic-ballot question in order to overcome the fact that more district Republicans are in favor than Democrats. “

“The new part is how much less competitive racing actually remains, as the number of competitive districts has been declining over the last 30 years. The Political Report with Amy Walter lists 55 districts in the competitive zone for 2022 – down from 75 in 2018. Moreover, in 2018, only five of those 75 districts were Democrat-held, which meant the Democrats had far more gains than losing. In 2022, the script has been reversed: 41 of the 55 are in the hands of Democrats, which has made significant Republican gains possible — but not to the extent of Democratic gains in 2018. As Charlie Cook noted, the predictions of a massive Republican gain are unrealistic, given that the GOP has already started the game with 212 seats. “

“The second part of the polarization equation, as it relates to the generic ballot, is how survey responses reflect bias. The discussion of presidential job approvals is instructive here: At first it seemed that a long-term low approval rating was a unique issue for former President Trump, but Joe Biden quickly ended his honeymoon and settled for Trump-level approval himself. It now appears that they are less likely than ever to like anything about the president of the opposition.

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