While Democrats hope to retain their slim majorities in Congress next year, Republican congressional candidates currently hold their largest lead in midterm election vote preferences in ABC News/Washington Post polls.
The difficulties the Democratic Party faces among registered voters include soaring economic discontent, a president who’s fallen 12 percentage points in job approval and a broad sense that the party is out of touch with the concerns of most Americans, ABC News reports.
If the midterm elections were today, 51% of registered voters say they’d support the Republican candidate in their congressional district, while 41% say they would support the Democrat candidate, according to the ABC News/Washington Post polls.
That’s the biggest lead for Republicans in the 110 ABC/Post polls that have asked this question since November 1981.
“Among the key factors is the economy. With inflation soaring, 70% say the economy is in bad shape, up from 58% last spring. While just half blame Biden directly for inflation — its worst in 31 years — his approval for handling the economy overall is down to 39%, off 6 points just since early September and 13 points from last spring,” the polls read.
“Now, 55% disapprove of Biden’s economic performance — 6 points more than former President Donald Trump’s highest disapproval rating on the economy in September 2017. Just over a year later, Trump’s Republicans lost 40 House seats in the 2018 midterms,” according to the polls.
Looking to the midterms, 58% of all adults — and 59% of registered voters— are inclined to look around for someone new to vote for, according to the polls.
“That’s fairly typical, albeit slightly above its average in polls back to 1989,” the polls read.
House incumbents overwhelmingly tend to get re-elected, marking challenges for the Democratic Party as registered voters interested in looking for someone new currently favor Republican over Democratic candidates by 20 points.
The 2022 vote question in the poll asks about generic Democratic or Republican candidate preferences for the U.S. House of Representatives, and of interest is control of the closely divided U.S. Senate.
“Evaluating survey results in just eight states expected to have the most competitive Senate races — four currently held by Democrats, four by Republicans — raises further hope for the GOP and risk for the Democratic Party,” the polls state. “In these states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Biden’s overall job approval rating is 33%, compared with 43% elsewhere. On his handling of the pandemic, his approval is 11 points lower than in the rest of the country. On the economy, the difference is a non-significant 7 points.”
The polls state that residents of these states also are less inclined to back their incumbent House member rather than to look around for someone new to support, 19% versus 28%, while registered voters in these states favor Republicans over Democrats for the House by a 23-point margin, 58-35%, vs. 7 points, 49-42%, in the rest of the country.
The ABC News/Washington Post polls, “Economic Discontent, Criticisms of Biden Lift the GOP to a Record Early Advantage,” can be read in full here.
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