First poll in Wall Street Journal’s new voting effort shows Republicans in a strong position, though Democrats have advantages in some policy areas
A silver lining for Democrats is that the party’s landmark initiatives in Congress—a recently enacted, bipartisan infrastructure bill and a proposed set of climate and social-spending programs—have the potential to garner additional support from voters who want their own Are undecided on the choice of 2022, the survey found. Democrats are also seen as capable of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, cutting health care prices and improving education.
More voters say they would support a Republican than a Democrat for Congress, 44% to 41%, if the election were to be held today, a lead that is within a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. Some 41% approve of Mr Biden’s job performance, with 57% disapprove, suggesting that the president’s power, as of yet, to foster support for other Democrats, is limited.
A new Wall Street Journal poll of 1,500 registered voters is the first to explore the forces driving American politics. For polls on the political scene, including this one, the Journal is drawing a new, bipartisan voting team that will put together the firms of leading pollsters Democrat John Anzalon and Republican Tony Fabrizio for Mr Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. brings. Pollsters for two campaigns of former President Donald Trump. Mr Anzalon’s current clients include the Democratic National Committee and an advocacy group that supports Mr Biden’s agenda. Mr Fabrizio currently votes for two political-action committees controlled by Mr Trump.
In addition, the journal will work with NORC at the University of Chicago, a non-profit research organization, to conduct periodic national surveys on social and cultural issues.
The new Journal poll provides evidence that Democrats face enormous challenges in maintaining their majority in the House, where a net gain of five seats would put the GOP in control, and in an equally divided Senate, where Democrats Because Vice President Kamala Harris can sabotage tied votes. Already, more Democratic than Republican House members have opted not to seek re-election in districts that would be difficult for their party, and renegotiated House district lines to give Republicans an added advantage. The preparation process is likely.
Public anger is an additional problem for the party, though it still has time to bounce back. “If it was Labor Day of 2022 with these numbers, it’s a red warning light,” Mr Anzalon said. “At the moment, it’s really tough. But guess what: You have a full year, and the Democrats have the tools in their tool kit to reverse the situation.”
Mr Fabrizio said the poll showed Mr Biden did not put the public behind him.
“Now there is a difference between the perceptions of candidate Joe Biden and what he was going to do, and President Joe Biden,” Mr. Fabrizio said. “He was about to defeat Covid. We obviously didn’t beat Covid. He was supposed to bring the country together, and obviously the country is not together…and people have economic concerns.
In the survey, 63% of voters said the country is derailed, with only 27% saying that the country is on the right track. Around 61 per cent said that the economy is going in the wrong direction.
Views of the future are pessimistic. Some 46% expect the economy to get worse next year, while 30% expect it to get better. By a margin of 29 points, more voters think inflation will be worse rather than better. have higher negative expectations for crime than positive ones, by a 33-point margin; border security, with a 26-point margin; and the political division of the country, by 50 points.
Voters have a brighter view of their own finances: some 31% say they believe their personal financial situation will improve next year, while 24% say it will get worse Will be done. Some 38% expect no change.
One challenge for Mr Biden and his party is that voters do not see him as best equipped to improve the economy. Voters said they believe Republicans have a better economic policy, 43% to 34%, and the GOP is better able to control inflation, secure borders, fix the immigration system, and reduce crime. is better seen.
The Democrats are narrowly favored as the best party to find middle-class families. Voters also see that Democrats are better at keeping the pandemic under control by 41% to 25%. The survey was conducted before the Omicron version of COVID-19 was widely reported in the news media, and its impact on the views of both sides is unclear.
While the midterm elections are supposed to be a referendum on the party in power, polls indicate that voters are not enthusiastic about their options. Both parties have equally tarnished reputations, with 43% each viewed favorably and nearly half of voters unfavourable. Leaders of both the parties in Congress are seen more negatively than positively. And both M/s. Biden and Trump, the most prominent members of each party, are viewed unfavorably by more than half of all voters, with 43% or fewer viewing them in a positive light.
“It may be a bad political climate for Democrats, but it’s not because they love Republicans or Republican leaders,” Anzalon said.
Mr Fabrizio said the most important issues for voters could change by election day. Democrats would benefit most from any increased interest in voting if the Supreme Court constrains abortion rights in a ruling expected next summer, for example, he said.
The poll suggested that Democrats have an opportunity to woo some undecided voters to their side by highlighting the party’s yet-to-be-passed law, known as Build Back Better, which aims to combat climate change. To address and promote social programs.
Of voters undecided on their 2022 choice, some 36% said they support the plan, and an equal share opposes it.
But when each party’s primary argument in favor and against the law was summarized, support among undecided voters rose to 54% – an 18-point gain – and opposition fell to 30%. Voters were told that supporters say the bill would lower costs for health care, pharmaceuticals, child care and elderly care, and critics say it would add too much to government spending.
Mr Fabrizio said a cautionary election for the GOP suggested undecided voters could swing toward Democrats. But he also noted that Republicans would put out competing advertisements and messages to mark the law.
“Those undecided are generally more favorable to Democrats on Biden proposals,” he said. “So to think that we have this completely in the bag based on these numbers is wrong. Is it: Gain GOP? you betcha.”
Of all voters, 45% said they supported and the same 45% opposed the Build Back Better bill. Separately, 48% of voters said they supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill Mr Biden recently signed into law, with 43% opposing it. Offering arguments for and against the infrastructure program, support among undecided 2022 voters increased by 7 percentage points to 54%.
Nearly a year after Mr Biden won the presidency by nearly 4.5 percentage points in the popular vote, he garnered 46% support in a hypothetical 2024 rematch, essentially tied with Mr Trump, who is favored by 45%. had gone.
Some 46% of voters say they will continue with Mr Biden’s policy course, while 48% say they will return to Mr Trump’s policies.
Mr Fabrizio said his views improve after the president leaves office, but the survey showed Mr Trump’s assessment was based on considerations of his policies.
Businesshala poll was conducted by the firms ALG Research and Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, which surveyed 1,500 respondents drawn from a list of known, registered voters from November 16-22. Half of the respondents were interviewed on their cell phones. Up to a quarter of people were messaged on their cell phones and completed an Internet survey. A quarter of the respondents were interviewed by landline phone. The margin of error for the entire sample was plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
Aaron Zeitner at [email protected]