Voters are worried about inflation and the economy, and that appears to be giving Republicans an edge in congressional races less than four weeks before the midterm election.
A New York Times/Siena College poll published Monday finds that 49% of voters say they plan to vote for a Republican in November, while 45% say they plan to vote for a Democrat. The results show an improvement for Republicans, who had just a 1-point advantage in September. (The poll of a nationally representative group of 792 registered voters was conducted from October 9 to 12, 2022, with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.)
“With inflation unrelenting and the stock market steadily on the decline, the share of likely voters who said economic concerns were the most important issues facing America has leaped since July, to 44 percent from 36 percent — far higher than any other issue,” says the Times’ Shane Goldmacher. “And voters most concerned with the economy favored Republicans overwhelmingly, by more than a two-to-one margin.”
Republicans are winning more independent voters, who say they will vote for the GOP by a 10-point margin. Female independents have shown the biggest increase in support, moving from backing Democrats by a 14-point margin in September to supporting Republicans by an 18-point margin in the latest poll – a worrying sign for Democrats who had hoped that the politics of abortion would take precedence over the politics of inflation this fall.
Overall, voters reported feeling pessimistic about the national situation. Sixty-four percent said they think the country is headed in the wrong direction, more than twice the 24% who said the country is on the right track – a sour outlook that does not bode well for the party currently in control in Washington.