With less than two weeks before midterm elections, and with early voting already in full swing in many states, likely midterm voters say they increasingly prefer Republican candidates over Democratic candidates for Congress, according to a new Suffolk University/USA TODAY national poll.
In a reversal of summertime trends, more than 49% of likely voters said they would select the Republican candidate while 45% would choose the Democratic candidate. This is a significant flip from a July national poll of registered voters where Democrats held the edge 44%-40% and 16% were undecided. With many of those undecideds now choosing to align with the GOP, 49% of those surveyed say they want to elect a Congress that stands up to President Biden while 41% want a Congress that cooperates with Biden.
Major issues are inflation, abortion, and control of US Congress
When it comes to the most important issue in the upcoming Congressional elections, 37% of voters named economy/inflation, followed by abortion at 18%, and control of Congress at nearly 15%. All other issues were in the single digits range.
When voters were asked which issue—inflation or abortion—mattered more, 56% chose inflation while 40% selected abortion. Men chose inflation over abortion by a margin of 62%-33%, while women recorded a much closer edge for inflation at 50%-47%. Republicans chose inflation by 75%-22%, Democrats selected abortion 63%-32%, while independents chose inflation 61%-35%.
Most voters say they plan to vote along traditional party lines in the coming contests, said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
“But the genders divide among independents, where independent men are choosing the Republican congressional candidate 57%-35%, while independent women are voting for the congressional Democrat 51%-40%,” he said. “Had Roe v. Wade not been overturned, independent women may have voted for the GOP candidate along with their male counterparts strictly on the issue of inflation and a wobbly economy, rejecting the party in power.”
Concerned about economy, more voters are eating out less often
In what could be a deepening problem for restaurants in the US, 61% of voters say economic concerns have prompted them to eat out less often, an increase of three points since July. Among those earning $50,000 or less, nearly seven in ten (68%) are eating out less frequently.
The nationwide Suffolk University/USA Today survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and land line users. The survey of 1,000 voters was conducted October 19-24. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].