Pre-midterm polls are rolling in as hot as inflation, and they're bad news for Democrats. Yesterday, we noted that in the latest Harvard / Harris poll, Trump would win vs. Biden if the 2024 election were held today, inflation is Americans' top concern, and most people (62%) blame the current administration for high energy prices.
Also on Monday, the New York Times / Siena college poll found that momentum is clearly in Republicans' favor going into midterms - and that Democrats are losing independent voters, particularly independent women, who went from favoring Democrats by 14 point to backing Republicans by 18 points.
The poll shows that 49 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for a Republican to represent them in Congress on Nov. 8, compared with 45 percent who planned to vote for a Democrat. The result represents an improvement for Republicans since September, when Democrats held a one-point edge among likely voters in the last Times/Siena poll.
The biggest shift came from women who identified as independent voters. In September, they favored Democrats by 14 points. Now, independent women backed Republicans by 18 points -NYT
And guess what the most important issues are to Americans? Not the climate. Not January 6. Not Covid (<.5%) The economy and inflation (44% combined vs. 36% in July). This is a mutual concern across all age groups, while the 'Republiscums are the problem' crowd (3%) skews heavily towards the 'get off my lawn' demographic.
Just 2% of likely voters think Ukraine is the most important problem facing the US today.
Democrats should also pay attention to Hispanics, who are far more concerned about the economy (37%) than whites (25%) and blacks (22%). That said, 60% of Hispanics - for now, say they'll still vote for congressional Democrats this fall despite their relatively high disapproval (48%) of Biden.
As noted above, independent voters should be of huge concern to Democrats, as "the poll showed that Republicans opened up a 10-percentage point lead among crucial independent voters, compared with a three-point edge for Democrats in September, as undecided voters moved toward Republicans," according to the Times.
"I’m shifting more towards Republican because I feel like they’re more geared towards business," 37-year-old Democrat mortgage loan officer Robin Ackerman in a statement to the Times. Ackerman said she disagreed "1,000 percent" with the Supreme Court's overturn of Roe v. Wade, "But that doesn’t really have a lot to do with my decision."
"I’m more worried about other things."
When it comes to 2024, 46% of Republicans say they'll vote in the primaries vs. 37% of Democrats. 9% were unlikely to vote. On the right, 47% would vote for Trump over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (28%) - which the Times felt the need to sound out.
As the Times aptly notes, "Democrats have no margin for error in 2022 — with the slimmest of majorities in the House and a 50-50 Senate, where the flipping of a single seat in that chamber would deliver a Republican majority."
Will Democrats maintain their dominion over Congress in three weeks?