Republican candidates for the House and Senate have overtaken Democrats on the generic ballot, driven by increased anxiety over the economy, according to the latest New York Times/Sienna Group survey.
The survey showed Republicans with the support of 49% of likely voters, compared to 45% for Democrats. This is a reversal of September’s data, which showed Democrats with a 1% advantage.
The increase was driven primarily by polling on the economy and inflation, which 44% of respondents ranked as the most important problem facing the country today, and where voters favored Republicans by a two-to-one margin. In September’s edition of the survey, just 36% of voters ranked the economy and inflation as their top issue.
Republicans’ gains were also boosted by the support of independent voters, leading by 10% with such voters, while their margin of support among women independents grew to 18% – a 32-point swing from September, where Democrats held the edge over them by 14%. White suburban independent women are among the most likely demographic groups to vote, with a Hillary Clinton campaign official in 2016 telling NPR they were “the lowest hanging fruit for expansion” among any electoral demographic.
We didn’t need the NYT/Sienna poll to tell us that the Republicans were surging. More reliable pollsters have already revealed that. But it is significant that the Left is acknowledging it now.
— PollWatch (@PollWatch2020) October 17, 2022
One registered Democratic voter, Robin Ackerman of New Castle, Delaware, said that “I’m shifting more towards Republican because I feel like they’re more geared towards business,” even as she told the Times she disagreed “1,000 percent” with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The survey showed that just 5% of voters believe that “abortion” is the most important issue facing the country.
When asked about the 2024 presidential election, the survey showed that likely voters would prefer former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden by a 1% margin, 45% to 44%. It also showed that Biden’s job approval rating was merely 39%, while 64% of respondents said that the country was headed in the “wrong direction.”
“I want to eat healthy, but it’s cheaper for me to go to McDonald’s and get a little meal than it is to cook dinner,” said Gerald Lamoureux, a Democratic-registered voter in Connecticut who plans to vote Republican, to the Times. In Connecticut, a Connecticut Examiner poll showed Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal leading Republican challenger Leora Levy by just 5%, a margin that halved since September, according to RealClearPolitics.
The NYT/Sienna survey polled 792 likely voters and had a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, being graded A+ by FiveThirtyEight for reliability. The Republican and Democratic National Committees did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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