Todd displayed what he called his “midterm meter for president’s party” that ranges from “exceptional” to “shellacking,” showing how many midterm elections have fallen in the latter category as the common trend for the party that controls the White House ends up losing heavily in Congress.
He explained that the tool “to understand and visualize which way the political winds are blowing” based on NBC News polling data, specifically examining how Americans view the direction of the country, the president’s job approval and the generic congressional ballot preference.
MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC)
(William B. Plowman/NBC)
Todd first cited from the NBC News poll that 71 percent of voters say the country is heading in the wrong direction, which he called “striking” since it’s the third consecutive poll showing at least 70 percent with that same response, suggesting it’s “not a good time” to be a Democrat since such a statistic falls in the “shellacking category.”
The poll in question was conducted between March 18 and 22 among 1,000 adults and had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Its error margin for 790 registered voters was +/- 3.5 percentage points.
“Look, 65 percent wrong track is a bad number,” Todd said on Wednesday.
Pivoting to President Biden’s job approval rating, which NBC News found was at only 40 percent approval, Todd pointed out how Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had midterms go their way in 1998 and 2002 with a minimum of 50 percent approval and that anywhere below 45 percent falls in the “bad” category.
“President Biden is at 40. George W. Bush was at 39 percent in 2006. We know how that turned out,” Todd said. “So you see that in the shellacking territory.”
President Biden speaks about status of the country’s fight against COVID-19 in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The “Meet the Press: Daily” host pointed to generic ballot preferences from the NBC News poll, showing Republicans having a 2-point edge over Democrats in a 46-44 matchup, but warned MSNBC viewers who see that as “competitive.”
“No, no, no, no, no,” Todd said. “In national polling, it’s extremely rare, because the way gerrymandering is worked, the way Democrats are packed into districts, you know, they have more than 85 percent districts and the Republicans do. The bottom line is generic ballot — if the Democrats are losing, it means they’re going to get walloped. Last time in 2010, Republicans had a 2-point advantage that translated to 63 seats.”
Todd summarized that three numbers all point to a “dangerous territory for Democrats” in anticipation of the upcoming elections.