2022 Midterm Elections

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll

Democrats Lose Ground Among Definite Voters in November’s Midterm Elections

Although the prospect of a Democratic president and a Republican Congress is a rising concern for many Americans, Republicans now have an edge against the Democrats in the battle for congressional control. According to this national NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll, the Republican candidates running for Congress are +3 points over the Democrats among voters nationally who say they definitely plan to vote in this year’s elections. This marks a 6-point shift from last month when the Democrats were up by 3 points over the Republicans. Democrats face strong headwinds: core voters with lower interest in the election than Republicans; a sitting president whose approval and favorable ratings are underwater; and an American electorate that sees Republicans as better able to handle inflation which tops the list of national concerns.

2022 Midterm Elections
If November's election for Congress were held today, which party's candidate are you more likely to vote for in your district:
Source: NPR/Marist Poll National Definite Voters. Interviews conducted October 24th through October 27th, 2022, n=1,200 MOE +/-4.2 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • The Republicans running for Congress (49%) now edge their Democratic rivals (46%) among those who say they definitely plan to vote in this month’s midterm elections. In October, the Democrats (48%) edged the Republicans (45%) by three points. Among registered voters, the Democratic (46%) and Republican (46%) congressional candidates are tied. The Democrats (46%) were +2 points over the Republicans (44%) last month.

  • For the first time in a decade, a majority of Americans (59%) think it is better for the country if the president and Congress are from the same party. 38% think it is advantageous for these two branches to be from different parties. In December 2016, Americans had the opposite view (29% same party to 63% different parties).

  • 82% of registered voters nationally say they definitely plan to vote this year, and 70% say they are very interested in this year’s midterm elections. While interest among Democrats is steady (68% now compared with 67% last month), interest has grown among Republicans. 84% of the GOP report a great deal of interest, up from 72%.

"Republicans can bank on greater interest among their core voters," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. "But, Americans are wary of a divided government, that is, the stalemate that would come with a Democratic president and Republican Congress."

Inflation Continues to Dominate the Campaign Discussion

More than one in three Americans (36%) say inflation is top of mind when thinking about this year’s midterm elections. More than one in four (26%) consider preserving democracy to be the most important issue while 14% cite abortion. Immigration (9%), health care (8%), and crime (7%) follow.

A majority of Republicans (54%) consider inflation to be their top priority while a plurality of Democrats (42%) say preserving democracy is their number-one issue. Abortion (22%) and inflation (17%) follow among Democrats.

Dems with Advantage on Abortion, Health Care, Democracy… GOP Stronger on Inflation, Immigration, & Crime

Pluralities of Americans consider the Democrats to be the party who can better handle the issues of abortion (45%), health care (43%), and preserving democracy (43%). However, residents perceive the Republicans to be better equipped to handle inflation (46%), immigration (45%), and crime (45%).

Three in Four Americans Confident in Electoral Process

Seventy-four percent of Americans are either confident or very confident in their state or local government to carry out a fair and accurate election. This is virtually unchanged from the 75% who had this view last month.

But, Will They Stick with Candidates who Claim Foul Play?

A majority of registered voters say it is very likely (34%) or likely (23%) that they would vote for a candidate with whom they agree on most of the issues and who also thinks the 2020 election was stolen. A majority of Republicans (53%) would be very likely to vote for a such a candidate while a majority of Democrats (52%) would not be likely at all to do so.

Half of Americans, including 52% of registered voters, say the candidate they support in the midterm elections should definitely concede if their opponent is declared the winner. 34% say they should probably concede. Democrats (64%) and independents (54%) are more likely than Republicans (39%) to say their candidate should definitely concede if their opponent is deemed victorious.

Plurality Plans to Vote on Election Day

More than four in ten registered voters (43%) say they plan to cast their ballot on Election Day. 28% say they have not voted yet but plan to cast their ballot before Election Day while more than one in four report they have already voted by mail (18%) or have already voted in-person at an early voting location (9%).

Republicans (53%) are more likely than Democrats (36%) and independents (37%) to vote on Election Day.

Biden’s Approval Rating at 42%

President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is 42% among Americans. Half of residents (50%) disapprove. Biden’s job approval rating has notched down slightly from the 44% score he received last month. Americans are more than twice as likely to strongly disapprove (41%) of the job Biden is doing than to strongly approve (20%).

Biden & Trump: One and the Same?

Biden’s favorable rating among Americans is upside down. 42% have a favorable opinion of Biden while 52% have an unfavorable one, little changed from April.

Former President Donald Trump’s favorable rating is identical to that of Biden (42% approve to 52% disapprove). Trump’s favorable rating is up from 38% in July and is his highest favorable rating since December 2016 (43%).