Poll: Dems lead by 17 points on generic ballot in House

Poll: Dems lead by 17 points on generic ballot in House
© Greg Nash

Democrats have opened up a massive 17-point advantage in generic ballot polling for the House ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, according to the latest survey from Quinnipiac University.

When voters were asked if they would rather see Republicans or Democrats win control of the House in 2018, 52 percent said Democrats, while 35 percent said Republicans. Thirteen percent were undecided.

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Those findings give Democrats a greater advantage than most other recent polls. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Democrats have a 12-point advantage in the generic ballot.

Still, many political observers are predicting a Democratic wave election and likening the 2018 political landscape to 2006, during former President George W. Bush’s second term in office, when Democrats picked up 30 seats and seized control of the House and the Senate.

That year, Democrats entered Election Day with an 8-point generic ballot lead, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

In the 2010 midterm elections, when the GOP picked up 63 seats in the House and won control of both chambers of Congress, Republicans had a 7-point advantage in the generic ballot, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

2018 was already shaping up to be a tough year for Republicans, as the party in power has historically suffered losses in midterm elections.

But 2018 poses other unique challenges for Republicans.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE has an historically low approval rating for a first-term president.

And the GOP’s efforts to hold on to the House have been complicated by a string of retirements. This week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Mystery surrounds elusive sanctions on Russia Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE (R-Calif.) became the eighth panel chairman to announce he would not seek reelection.

Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaDuncan Hunter to plead guilty to campaign finance violations Why the GOP march of mad hatters poses a threat to our Democracy Elijah Cummings, native son of Baltimore, gets emotional send-off from Democratic luminaries MORE (R-Calif.) also announced he would not seek reelection.

House Republicans will have to defend at least 30 open seats in 2018 due to retirements, resignations or lawmakers seeking other offices, while Democrats will only have to contend with about half as many open seats.

Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to take control of the House in 2018.

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,106 voters was conducted between Jan. 5 and Jan. 9 and has a 3.6 percentage point margin of error.