NBC News has released its latest poll, showing who the most unpopular major political figure in the country is. But it also gives us a good indication of where things are headed as the November mid-term election draws closer.
Here are some of the topline results.
Starting with who took the top prize, that would be (drum roll, please) Kamala Harris. Yes, Black Hillary, as my colleague Jeff Charles likes to refer to her, has only a 29 percent favorable rating with a -17 favorable/unfavorable differential. But perhaps that comparison is unfair because I’m not sure Hillary Clinton was ever this bad at politics. Harris has truly set the bar so low that it may never be touched again in the modern era.
From her “dog ate my homework” interviews to the awkward cackle that so often makes an appearance when she gets nervous, Harris is truly the worst politician of this generation, and that’s really saying something. And Democrats have little choice but to roll with her in 2024 or they risk destroying their party from the inside. Can you imagine the charges of racism that would go forth if the Democrat establishment and donor class throw Harris under the bus?
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Past that, though, I found the popularity of the individual parties to be revealing, and it’s important to look at these kinds of things in context. Historically, Democrats typically do better in head-to-head, generic polling matchups. That doesn’t mean they win every election, obviously, but it does mean that the GOP can and has taken control of Congress while technically being “down” in the polls. That’s especially true 10 months out.
On this day in the 2014 cycle, Democrats were leading by around a point. By the time Election Day rolled around, that has flipped to a GOP +2.4 advantage. Further, in 2016, Democrats led the generic ballot all the way until Election Day, yet lost all three branches of government.
The point is that the GOP being in any kind of hole isn’t actually indicative of much — given they have often prevailed anyway. But when Democrats are down, it’s red alert territory because of the dynamics at play.
In this NBC poll, which has traditionally been kind to the left, Democrat Party favorability is underwater a full five points more than the GOP. On the generic ballot, things are essentially tied. And on the right track/wrong track numbers, you see an absolute disaster unfolding for the Democrats.
Taking all of this together, I think you can reasonably ascertain that the Republican Party is in a very strong position heading into 2022. That’s not really news, as the trends have been apparent for a long time, but it is a continuation of an important theme. And every single day that passes represents a day Democrats can’t get back in order to try to turn things around. If this election isn’t already set in stone, we are approaching that point of no return.
Of course, never underestimate the ability of the Republican establishment to figure out a way to lose. Yet, the elections in Virginia should give people hope that things have, indeed, changed. All I know is that I’d much rather be a Republican right now vs. a Democrat.