A passionate Republican base and persistent concerns over the state of the economy put the GOP in a strong position with about a week left in the race for control of the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
The new survey released Wednesday shows that the vote for Democrats is significantly lower than it was in 2018, when the Democratic Party controlled the House. The new poll shows how Republican voters are more likely to vote than Democrats in this year’s midterm elections on a number of questions.
Overall, 27 percent of registered voters say they are extremely excited to vote this year, down from 37 percent before the 2018 midterm elections, and almost all of the decline in enthusiasm comes among Democrats. Four years ago, 44% of Democratic registered voters were extremely enthusiastic about voting; Now, only 24% say the same. Among Republicans, the number narrowly dropped from 43 percent to 38 percent.
Although overall enthusiasm to vote is lower than it was in October 2010, gains in Republican enthusiasm are now about the same as the partisan gap seen in CNN’s polling, ahead of the GOP midterm performance. Then, as now, Republican voters were 14 points more enthusiastic about voting in the midterms (31% of Republican voters were extremely enthusiastic compared to 17% of Democratic voters).
In the new poll, Republicans top Democrats on a general ballot question asking voters which party’s candidate they support in their House district 51 to 47 percent, outside the poll’s margin of sampling error. Among registered voters, the race is even, with 47% behind Republicans and 46% behind Democrats. The closely divided overall voting numbers often translated to a Republican House.
Republicans in this year’s battle for the House are bolstered by broader concerns about the state of the nation’s economy. The economy and inflation are far and away the most likely issues for voters in this final term, with nearly half of all voters (51%) saying they are the key issues that will determine their vote for Congress this year. Abortion, the second-ranked issue, ranked as a top concern among 15 percent of voters. Other issues tested were each chosen by less than 10% of voters, including voting rights and electoral integrity (9%), gun policy (7%), immigration (6%), climate change (4%) and crime (3%). ).
Republican and independent voters are broadly focused on the economy, with 71% of Republicans and 53% of independents citing it as a top issue in their vote. Democratic voters are more divided, equal shares with the main issue of the economy and abortion – 29% say abortion, 27% economy and inflation.
Voters who say the economy is their top concern support Republicans in their House districts 71 percent to 26 percent. By wide margins, they say they trust the GOP better on the economy and inflation (71% of Republicans vs. 18% of Democrats).
The poll found a broad and widespread perception that the economy is already in decline, and that the majority of people in the country are generally not doing well.
Overall, 75% of Americans say the economy is at a low point, up from 64% this summer. Most people across party lines see the economy as failing, including 91% of Republicans, 74% of liberals and 61% of Democrats. Overall (55%) who felt that way this spring, more than 47%, say they are unhappy with their personal financial situation. A majority of Republicans (57%) and independents (62%) say they are dissatisfied with their finances, while Democrats are more likely to be satisfied (55% satisfied, 45% dissatisfied).
Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%, including 72% of voters) say things are getting worse in the country today. That’s a slight improvement from this summer, when 79% of all adults rated things poorly, but about the same as Americans felt about the state of the country before the midterms of 2010 (75% said things were getting worse) and much worse. Just before Election Day 2018 (44% said things were getting worse in early November). The last time most Americans said things were going well in America was January 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic.
With this growing economic crisis and growing negativity about the country, President Joe Biden’s approval rating has dipped in the latest poll. Overall, 41% of adults said they approve of the president’s performance, down from 44% in a recent CNN poll, though still at this summer’s lowest level. Among likely voters, Biden’s rating is 42 percent, on par with Donald Trump among voters in 2018 (41 percent approval) and Barack Obama in 2018. in 2010 (43 percent approved).
The new CNN poll by SSRS was conducted Oct. 26-31 among a random national sample of 1,508 adults, including 1,290 registered voters and 992 likely voters, drawn from a probability-based panel. Surveys were conducted online or directly with the interviewer over the phone. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. It is 3.4 points among registered voters and 3.8 points among prospective voters. Voters are identified through a series of questions about their voting intentions, interests and past voting history.