The 2022 Midterm Elections, Sep 2022

NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll

Democrats +4 Over Republicans in the Battle for Congress, Inflation Top Voting Issue

Democrats have a four-point advantage over the Republicans, among registered voters, in this November’s midterm elections despite concerns about the U.S. economy. With two months to go until Election Day, inflation is the issue that’s top of mind when it comes to casting a ballot. The proportion of Americans concerned about inflation, though, has declined, and abortion is a key issue for the campaigns especially for Democrats. In fact, a majority of Americans say the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will motivate them to go to the polls this November. As the campaigns wage on, the White House will need to fend off the image of being weak on the economy. Yet, a small glimmer of hope exists for President Joe Biden; his job approval rating is on an upswing.

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/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll National Registered Voters. Interviews conducted August 29th through September 1st, 2022, n=1,151 MOE +/- 4.3 percentage points. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
  • 48% of registered voters say they are more likely to vote for the Democratic congressional candidate in their district rather than the Republican (44%). The Democrats had a seven-point advantage in June in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll conducted immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Independents line up 42% for the Democratic candidate to 42% for the Republican candidate. 11% of independents are undecided.

  • Inflation (30%) is the number-one voting issue for Americans. However, the proportion of Americans who mention inflation is down from 37% in July. 22% of Americans cite abortion as their top voting issue, up from 18%. Health care is mentioned by 13% of residents nationally. Responses for other issues are in single digits.

  • With 62% of Americans saying they think the U.S. economy is in a recession, it is not surprising that economic issues are driving the political dialogue. Americans think the Republican Party (39%) would do a better job dealing with the economy while 26% say the Democrats are more capable on the economic front. 12% think each would do a similar job, and 20% say neither party would do a good job.

  • 58% of Americans say the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade makes them more likely to vote in this November’s elections, down slightly from 61% immediately following the Court’s late June decision. Five percent report the decision makes them less likely to vote, and 28% say the decision makes no difference to their vote.

"The Supreme Court's decision on Dobbs this summer has had a major impact on electoral politics heading toward the midterm elections," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Not only are Democrats more motivated to vote than Republicans because of the Court’s decision, Democrats remain energized whereas Republican interest has faded since June."

A majority of Americans (57%) say President Joe Biden’s decisions as president have weakened the U.S. economy. This is the highest proportion of Americans with this view since Biden became president. 34% of Americans say his decisions have strengthened the economy. Despite views of Biden’s economic performance, his overall job approval rating has been steadily increasing and now stands at 41%, up from 38% in August and 36% in July. The proportion of Americans who strongly disapprove of Biden’s job performance (41%) still outweighs the proportion who strongly approve (17%).