May 23, 2018
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
With less than six months left before Americans choose a new Congress, the race for a House majority has gotten surprisingly turbulent.
The generic congressional ballot—a roughly reliable gauge of the final outcome—is tightening. FiveThirtyEight’s average shows Democrats with a modest 4- to 5-point advantage over Republicans, down from 12 points at the beginning of the year. At least one survey shows Republicans with the lead. Donald Trump is also trending upward. Trump is more popular—or rather, less unpopular—than he’s been in at least a year, with solid marks on his handling of the economy. Writing for Cook Political Report, Amy Walter notes that Trump’s approval ratings are no longer at an historic low: “His 42 percent showing is basically where Presidents Carter and Reagan were at this point in their presidencies.” Given the tight relationship between presidential approval and midterm performance, Trump’s improvement can only help incumbent Republicans.