Analysis: Donald Trump’s No Good, Very Bad Week
‘I cannot think ... of a similar terrible week’ for any POTUS, veteran Republican says

President Donald Trump makes a remark to the media as he arrives for a House Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The self-created child migrant crisis was bad enough for Donald Trump, but then he insulted a well-respected House Republican and refused to help leaders pass an immigration overhaul bill many feel is key to their re-election. Republicans reacted angrily, with one party veteran declaring this is Trump’s “Katrina moment.”

The president was riding high as Air Force One ferried him back from his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un last week. Top aides planned a quiet Friday, wanting to ride the perceived momentum into the weekend. Then Trump, without the input of aides, walked out to the North Lawn to talk to Fox News anchor Steve Doocy and then other reporters.

Opinion: Back to the Future With Party ID
Spike in the generic ballot? Calm down and carry on

A voter casts his ballot in the Virginia primary at the Hillsboro Old Stone School in the Old Dominion State’s 10th District on June 12. More voters now identify as independents — not a positive trend for either party, Winston writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s morning again in America. You grab your first cup of coffee, click to your favorite news site and are greeted by a new poll with a huge generic ballot spike in the congressional vote. What should your reaction be? Is it time to freak out, or calm down and assume the poll is an outlier?

The answer is neither. When a particular survey suddenly shows a significant shift in one direction or the other, political and media analysts and the public need to approach the data with caution. Before assuming there was a change in voter preference, we need to ask whether party identification in the survey also changed significantly, and if so, why. 

Tom MacArthur’s Democratic Challenger Trails by 4 Points in Internal Poll
Democrat Andy Kim is challenging the two-term New Jersey Republican

GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur will face Democrat Andy Kim in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll for New Jersey Democrat Andy Kim showed him trailing Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur by 4 points in the 3rd District general election. 

Kim, a former National Security Council official, and MacArthur both ran unopposed in last week’s primaries.

New Poll: Utah Rep. Mia Love in Tight Race With Democratic Challenger
Survey finds Salt Lake County mayor leads among independents, trails among Mormons

Utah Rep. Mia Love is facing a competitive re-election race this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll in Utah shows Rep. Mia Love essentially tied with the Democrat she is likely to face in the general election this November.

Love, a second-term Republican, led Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams 47 percent to 43 percent in the 4th District race, the Utahpolicy.com survey found. Ten percent were undecided.

Poll: Grimm Leads Donovan by Double Digits
Trump endorsed Donovan last week, saying he had a better chance to win against a Democrat

Former Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., leads Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., in a new poll despite Donovan receiving the support from President Donald Trump. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll shows former Rep. Michael Grimm with a 10-point lead over incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan in the Republican primary for New York’s 11th District.

The NY1 and Siena College poll asked if the congressional primary were held today, who would voters support. Grimm received 47 percent of likely voters’ support compared to Donovan’s 37 percent while 16 percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

Democratic Poll: Mike Levin Ahead in California’s 49th District
Levin and Republican Diane Harkey lead the field in survey

Democrat Mike Levin is running in California’s 49th District (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

A Democratic poll shows a tight contest in the crowded race for California’s 49th District, with Democrat Mike Levin narrowly ahead of Republican Diane Harkey .

The district is one of three in Southern California where Democrats are concerned about possibly being shut out of the general election. Under the state’s primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot with the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advancing to November. With multiple hopefuls on both sides, the concern is a split in the Democratic vote could allow two Republicans to get through.

Poll: Cruz Holds Comfortable Lead Against O’Rourke
Cruz saw a surge in support among white men since last poll

Sen. Ted Cruz  enjoys a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas' Senate race, a new poll shows. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll shows a big shift in Texas’ Senate race, with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz building a comfortable lead over Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke over the last month.

The poll, conducted by Quinnipiac, found Cruz was leading O’Rourke with the support of 50 percent of those responding, compared to the Democrat’s 39 percent.

Analysis: Why You Should Focus on Independents
Their attitudes could provide insight into the midterm elections

The two big wave elections of the past 20 years were driven by independents, who preferred Democrats in 2006 and Republicans in 2010, Rothenberg writes. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

I don’t trust anyone who tells me they already know the makeup of the midterm electorate. We can’t possibly know who will vote in the fall, let alone how they will cast their ballots.

If I were going to focus on a handful of variables to understand how the cycle is unfolding, I’d certainly pay close attention to partisanship. But instead of focusing primarily on the percentage of Republicans and Democrats among voters, I’d pay more attention to the attitudes (and then the behavior) of self-identified independents.

Helmer Internal Poll Shows Democrat Beating Comstock
Comes as the primary approaches next month

Virginia Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll by Democratic candidate Dan Helmer in Virginia’s 10th District shows him beating vulnerable Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in a head-to-head matchup.

Helmer’s campaign released the poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showing him with an 8-point lead over the incumbent. The survey showed Helmer, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, leading with 48 percent of voters. 

Poll: Hunter Maintains Wide Lead Despite Federal Investigation
Next closest challenger, Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, more than 30 points behind

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., still leads in a poll despite being under federal investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite facing a federal investigation into questionable campaign spending, a new poll shows Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter holds a significant lead ahead of California’s 50th District June 5 primary.

The San Diego Union-Tribune and 10News poll showed 43 percent of respondents support Hunter. The closest competitor, former Obama administration staffer Ammar Campa-Najjar, had the support of 10 percent.