In recent polls measuring the performance of Republicans on the generic ballot (meaning polls essentially asking voters if they are more likely to elect a Democrat or a Republican), the GOP has been scoring very high against Democrats. In fact, they are currently getting numbers they haven’t seen since July.
In fact, over the weekend, their average at RealClearPolitics hit a high they haven’t hit since February.
Republicans officially took the lead in those averages again in late September as the voter high on Democrats’ passing major legislation and falling gas prices wore off. But last week, Democrats tanked while Republicans continued to rise.
It shouldn’t really be a mystery as to why either. Last week, the final inflation report before the midterm election dropped, and it was disastrous for the Biden administration and the Democrats.
Today, the New York Times and Siena have dropped their latest joint poll and it, too, has Republicans up four points, 49-45. What’s more, when it comes to the most important issues for voters, the economy (28 percent) and inflation (16 percent) dominated the top issues. Abortion and immigration were tied at a distant third place. The independent voter breakdown for Democrats is brutal, however.
Both Democrats and Republicans have largely coalesced behind their own party’s congressional candidates. But 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.
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 — a striking swing given the polarization of the American electorate and how intensely Democrats have focused on that group and on the threat Republicans pose to abortion rights.
Even worse for Democrats, 34 percent of Hispanic voters say they will back Republicans in the midterm election.
But wait. There’s more.
In taking over the House in 2018 and winning the Senate and White House in 2020, the winning Democratic coalition during the Trump presidency relied on a significant gender gap and on winning women by a wide margin.
But the poll showed that Republicans had entirely erased what had been an 11-point edge for Democrats among women last month in 2022 congressional races to a statistical tie in October.
The problem for Democrats is largely the economy, but there is a peripheral issue at play with that: Crime.
It comes in the Times/Sienna poll at 3 percent in terms of most important issues for voters, but crime stories are making a difference. You’ll notice in the Times write-up of the poll, they quote three voters: One from Delaware, one from Connecticut, and one from Indiana. There is no quote from someone from a city with major crime problems and no quote from someone who lives close to the border.
I’m not saying that no one from those areas was polled, but it’s telling that there’s no anecdotal quote from them. So, if the numbers are this bad and you’re possibly ignoring those parts of the country where these issues are really in play, imagine how bad the numbers would be if the poll focused on these areas. This would be nearer an epic blowout.
But it’s also noteworthy that the one quote on abortion they have is pretty dismissive of its importance in this election.
“I’m shifting more towards Republican because I feel like they’re more geared towards business,” said Robin Ackerman, a 37-year-old Democrat and mortgage loan officer who lives in New Castle, Del., and is planning to vote Republican this fall.
Ms. Ackerman said she disagreed “1,000 percent” with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and erase the national right to an abortion. “But that doesn’t really have a lot to do with my decision,” she said of her fall vote. “I’m more worried about other things.”
It could very well be that, as predicted, there is a shy Republican voter that isn’t showing up in the polls. But, if the pollsters and the journalists writing about the polls are straight-up ignoring the areas that are most impacted by Democratic Party policies – the places where crime is up due to de-emphasis on prosecution and places where border enforcement is somehow less than zero – and the only response about abortion they include dismisses its relevance to this election, then you’re looking at unmitigated doom for the Democrats in less than a month.