Post-ABC poll: House votes nearly split, GOP ahead on economy, turnout

Post-ABC poll: House votes nearly split, GOP ahead on economy, turnout


Republicans have significant bread-and-butter advantages on the economy and inflation that are central concerns for this fall’s elections, and are poised to claim a majority in the House of Representatives in Tuesday’s election, according to Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Voter intentions for the House of Representatives were roughly evenly split, with 49 percent of registered voters saying they would vote for the Republican candidate in their district and 48 percent saying they would vote for the Democrat. Likely voters are split 50 percent Republican and 48 percent Democrat.

If recent history is any guide, Democrats need clear leadership on this measure to stave off Republican gains. According to political handicappers, many more Democratic seats are considered up for grabs, putting the party at a disadvantage heading into Tuesday’s meeting. At this point four years ago, when the Democrats came to power in the House in rebuke to President Donald Trump maintained a seven-point lead about the intentions of voters. But when Republicans won big in 2010 and 2014, they had a slightly larger lead than current polling suggests.

With Republicans needing to win a sweep of five seats to take control of the House, Democrats face overwhelming odds to prevent that. Poll results cannot predict the number of seats that could change hands, only the general direction of voter intent. Nor does the poll provide a look at the state of Senate races or the GOP’s chances of winning a majority in the current 50-50 Democratic House.

Another factor in the GOP’s favor: Republicans remain more certain to vote, with 80 percent of Republican-leaning voters saying they will definitely vote or have already voted, slightly more than 74 percent of Democratic-leaning voters. Voting certainty among Democrats is eight percentage points lower than in 2018, while it is stable among Republicans.

Read the full post-ABC poll results

The attention gap is even wider, with 48 percent of Republican-leaning voters following the election “extremely closely” or “very closely,” compared to 37 percent of Democratic-leaning voters. In 2018, there was little difference in the attention paid by Democratic and Republican voters to the election.

Voters’ faith in the electoral process reflects doubts sown after the 2020 election, in which a defeated Trump refused to concede to Joe Biden and made baseless claims of voter fraud before his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. More than 2 to 1 , Americans say they are very or somewhat confident that votes in the midterm elections will be accurately counted, at the level of previous years. That includes more than 8 in 10 Democrats and more than 6 in 10 independents. Among Republicans, 55 percent express confidence compared to 45 percent who do not, including 19 percent who say they have no confidence in the exact number.

Several hundred GOP candidates for House, Senate or statewide office this year have rejected or examined 2020 election results Two years after that vote, a new poll shows that more than 1 in 3 adults say they are not convinced Biden was legitimately elected. That includes more than 7 in 10 Republicans.

Days before the final votes are cast and counted, the survey highlights reasons why Democrats are on the defensive, including that their candidates are burdened by Biden’s low approval ratings. Biden’s approval rating is 41 percent, little changed from 39 percent in September, with 53 percent disapproving. Among registered voters, his rating is 43 percent positive, 53 percent negative.

Slightly more than 8 in 10 Democratic voters give Biden favorable ratings. Meanwhile, 9 out of 10 Republican voters disapprove of the president’s performance. Among independents, 39 percent approve of the way Biden is doing his job, and 56 percent disapprove. Voters who support Biden support Democrats 90 percent to 8 percent, and those who disapprove Republicans support 83 percent to 12 percent. Overall, the Democratic candidates outscore Biden by five points among registered voters.

There was a noticeable imbalance in the intensity of those assessments of Biden, with 44 percent of voters saying they strongly disapprove of the way the president has been doing his job compared to 19 percent who said they strongly approve. Biden’s strong disapproval among independent voters is close to the overall finding of 42 percent.

Abortion rights and threats to democracy in particular animate many Democratic voters, and those issues are being used in closing messages to boost turnout as a way to offset the GOP’s overall advantage. Many Democratic candidates have highlighted abortion in their television ads, and Biden gave a speech on Wednesday night about the threats to democracy, hoping to motivate the party’s base.

In a new survey, the party lines that define the current state of the electorate are sharply etched. More than 9 in 10 Republicans and Democrats say they will vote for their party’s House nominee. Meanwhile, likely independent voters split 53 percent to 45 percent for Republicans. In 2018, independent voters favored Democrats over Republicans in House races by 54 percent to 42 percent, according to network exit polls.

There is a significant gender gap among likely voters, with 62 percent of men saying they plan to vote for the Republican candidate in their district and 59 percent of women saying they will support the Democratic candidate.

A similarly large difference shows up based on education level, with 57 percent of likely voters without a college degree favoring Republicans and 58 percent of those with degrees supporting Democrats. By more than 2 to 1, white voters without a college degree favor Republicans, while a majority of white voters with degrees (55 percent) support Democrats.

Voter intentions have changed little compared to the September survey. They are less positive for Republicans than earlier this year, before the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and increased abortion rights as a central issue in the midterm campaigns.

One illustration of the divided American electorate is the narrow division over which party voters believe will handle the major issues facing the country in the coming years. On this question, 42 percent say they trust Republicans, 40 percent Democrats.

But on certain issues, each side’s strengths stand out. Among registered voters, Republicans have a 14-point lead on the economy, a 12-point lead on inflation and price rises (although that gap has narrowed since September) and a 20-point lead on crime. Democrats have a 13-point lead on abortion and a 19-point lead on climate change.

On immigration and threats to democracy, the first issue pushed hard by Republicans and the second highlighted by Democrats, neither side has a clear advantage, though there are big partisan differences in both parties that are masked by the overall results. The two parties are also in confidence to deal with education and schools, again with big party differences.

Republicans have sought to make crime a major issue this year, and their lead on that issue has grown significantly. In the summer of 2021, the two sides are equally rated as to which is more trusted to engage in crime. By last spring, the GOP lead had jumped to double digits and has increased slightly since then.

When asked which of the eight issues will be one of the most important in influencing their vote, 26 percent of likely voters cited the economy, abortion 22 percent, inflation and threats to democracy each 21 percent. 26 percent of voters who rated the economy as one of the most important factors in their vote favor the Republicans by 44 points. 22 percent of those who listed abortion as one of the most important issues support Democrats by 54 points.

Twice as many Republican voters as Democrats cite the economy as one of the most important issues in their vote (32 percent vs. 15 percent). On abortion, the pattern was reversed, with 32 percent of likely Democratic voters citing it as one of the most important issues compared to 12 percent of Republicans. Among independents, 28 percent say the economy is key to their decision, while 20 percent cite abortion.

The impact of inflation is revealed in the second question, which asked people to compare their family’s financial situation with that of two years ago. More than 4 out of 10 say it’s worse, about 4 out of 10 say it’s the same, and not quite 2 out of 10 say it’s better.

Decision of the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which repealed federal protections against abortion, is opposed by more than 6 in 10 adults, including nearly 9 in 10 Democrats and more than 6 in 10 independents. Slightly more than half of Republicans support this decision.

The percentage of adults who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases has risen since the decision, with 66 percent saying it should be legal all or most of the time, the highest number in a Post-ABC poll since 1995. ., when the question was first asked.

But Democrats have yet to unite abortion rights supporters behind their party, with voters who support legal abortion favoring Democrats for Congress 67 percent to 29 percent, while Republicans receive 88 percent support among voters who say abortion should be illegal. Turnout is also a factor, with opponents of legal abortion nine points more likely to say they will definitely vote or have already voted.

Cross tabulation results after the ABC survey by group

The Post-ABC survey it was done by phone from October 30-November. 2 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults with 75 percent reachable via cell phone. The total sample together with the subsample of 881 registered voters has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points. The margin of error is 4.5 points in a sample of 708 likely voters.

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