Americans' anger at Republican President Donald Trump may help Democrats gain more seats in Congress after the upcoming midterm congressional elections in November, according to a new poll.
Across the US, people are seething following a vitriolic 2016 presidential election. Anger continues to dominate public discourse, from violent protests with huge crowds to tense social media debates that tear families and friendships apart.
That anger will drive US voters to the polls in next month’s elections - and greater rage among Democratic voters could give the party’s candidates a boost, Reuters/Ipsos polling data shows.
The poll found Democrats are most angry about the Trump administration’s now abandoned practice of separating undocumented immigrant families at the US-Mexican border, the potential for Russian interference in future US elections to help Republicans and Trump himself.
Republicans, on the other hand, are most angry about the potential for Congress to try to remove Trump through impeachment, undocumented immigrants coming into the country and the mainstream news media.
The Reuters/Ipsos survey has gathered emotional responses from more than 21,000 people over two months.
While the midterm elections are for thousands of posts from state officials to governors, the focus is on which political party will gain majority in the US Congress.
Opinion polls show Democrats have a chance at achieving the net gain of 23 seats they need to win a majority in the US House of Representatives. They have a longer shot at the Senate, where they need a gain of two seats, but are defending 26 seats, including 10 in states Trump won in 2016.
Angry Americans will be more likely to vote, and Democrats are generally more angry about contentious issues than Republicans, according to the Reuters/Ipsos data.
Americans overall appear to have been angrier in 2016 and 2018 than they were in past election cycles, according to similar polling that dates back to 1980.
“Other previous elections have been pretty intense,” said Nicholas Valentino, a voter behavior expert at the University of Michigan. “But the emotions that people expressed were much more positive, even during years when the country was in recession.”
US midterm elections take place at the halfway point during each presidential term and usually experience weak turnout due to a lack of enthusiasm. But Trump’s election in 2016, has made Americans more engaged than ever with the polarized political climate.