Majority of Americans want Democrats in control of Congress, poll finds

President Donald Trump also hits almost historically low job approval ratings 

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The Independent US

Republicans may hold the majority in both chambers of Congress today, but most Americans wish it were the other way around.

According to a new Quinnipiac University Poll, 54 per cent of Americans wish the Democratic Party had control of the House of Representatives. Only 38 per cent feel the same about the Republicans. In fact, more than 41 per cent of Americans feel the country would be better off if the Democrats had won in 2016.

Democratic leaders also win higher marks than their Republican counterparts: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gets a 31 per cent favourablity rating, while Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan gets 24 per cent.

That bodes well for a Democratic party still reeling from its unexpected presidential loss. Six months after the defeat, Democrats seem to have latched onto Donald Trump’s lack of legislative success – and historic unpopularity ratings – to boost their midterm prospects.

When Mr Trump’s 100 days came and went without a major legislative victory, the Democrats released a triumphant press release titled “President Trump's 100 Days of Historic Broken Promises.” Mr Trump’s job approval rating is at a near-record low of 36 per cent, according to the poll.

Days later, when Mr Trump and Republican representatives celebrated the passage of their health care bill through the House, Democrats taunted them by signing “Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.” Just 38 per cent of Americans approve of the health care bill.

To win back a majority in the House, Democrats need to flip 25 seats – the average number of seats lost by each president’s party in every midterm since World War II.

But experts say Democrats shouldn’t be celebrating just yet: The party has notoriously low turnout for midterm elections – 20 per cent lower than Republican voters. And recent special elections, in which  Democrats hoped to win back several historically Republican seats, haven’t delivered the resounding victory they’d hoped.

At a session of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “university” for potential candidates, consultant Dave Gold described the anti-Trump momentum as a “wave.”

"It's all about getting people out there on surfboards," Mr Gold told his students. "Otherwise, the wave might come and it crashes on the shore and nothing comes of it."