November 2, 2022
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.
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%).