CNN poll: Most voters say neither Republicans nor Democratic candidates for Congress have the right priorities

Two-thirds of registered voters (67%) say Democratic congressional candidates in the region where they live aren’t paying enough attention to the nation’s most important issues, with just 31% saying these candidates have the right priorities. A similar 65% say Republican candidates in their area don’t pay enough attention to important national issues, with 33% saying GOP congressional candidates have the right priorities.

Economic issues are currently at the center of voters’ concerns. Nearly 7 in 10 voters (69%) currently rate the economy as extremely important to their vote in Congress, and 67% say the same about inflation. Smaller majorities place the same level of importance on voting rights and election integrity (61%) and gun policy (60%). About half see education (51%), abortion (50%) or crime (49%) as extremely important, and fewer say the same about immigration (42%), climate change (34 %) or the coronavirus pandemic (26%). This focus on the economy has increased since the start of this year, even as the field period of the investigation spanned a series of events, including the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the passage of a new gun law and several House Select Committee hearings investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol.

When asked what topics they most want to hear candidates talk about, about half of voters choose either the economy (32%) or inflation (19%), with 14% answering guns and under one in 10 choosing one of the remaining issues. . Republican and Republican-leaning voters are particularly focused on economic issues: 71% say they most want to hear about the economy or inflation, with 10% citing immigration. Democratic-aligned voters have a more diverse range of top concerns, with 32% wanting to know more about the economy or inflation, 23% about gun policy, 15% about voting rights and the Election Integrity, 11% on Climate Change and 10% on Abortion.

On a range of major policy issues, majorities say each party’s positions are generally dominant — the one exception is abortion, where most call Republicans too extreme. Voters are more likely to see Democrats as part of the mainstream on voting rights and election integrity, immigration and abortion than to say the same of Republicans. But they are more likely to view Republicans as dominant in the economy than Democrats.

Voters are evenly split on which party candidate they would currently prefer in their congressional district, with 46% choosing Democrats and 46% Republicans. It’s a modest rally for Democrats after CNN’s poll in May in the days immediately following the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe, but generally tied with the generic ballot numbers. from the beginning of the year. In July 2014, ahead of a strong midterm year for Republicans, Democrats had a 4-point advantage on this metric; in June 2018, the Democrats were trailing by 8 points more substantial. Republican voters continue to hold a modest advantage in enthusiasm, with 35% saying they are extremely enthusiastic about voting, compared to 28% of Democratic voters. There is less of a difference in voter-reported levels of motivation: 51% of GOP voters and 48% of Democratic voters say they are extremely motivated.

Beyond their preference for Congress in their own district, voters are narrowly divided on whether the country would be better (41%) or worse (38%) if the GOP took Congress, with 20% saying it would. wouldn’t make any difference.

Most voters who predict a GOP takeover would benefit the country cite economic issues (54%) when asked what they think would improve under Republican control, including 33% who cite the global economy and 18% inflation. The only other issue mentioned by more than 10% is immigration or border security. “They at least understand the economy and try to sideline the government, most of the time,” said one voter surveyed. “They are by no means perfect but always do better than [Democrats] on economic issues.

Those who dread the prospects of a Republican victory, on the other hand, are more likely to cite gun politics (26%), democracy and voting rights (21%), abortion (13%), women’s rights (12%) and other civil liberties. . “Frankly an erosion of the right to vote and our democracy and women’s rights and protections for the LGBTQ+ community,” said another voter who responded to the poll. “It’s terrifying.”

Neither President Joe Biden nor former President Donald Trump seems likely to raise the status of congressional candidates in the general election. Only 32% of voters say they would prefer a congressional candidate who supports Joe Biden, while 43% prefer one who opposes him, and 25% say it makes no difference. Trump fares slightly worse than Biden: 28% prefer a candidate who supports him, 49% a candidate who opposes him and 23% have no preference. Both sets of numbers are largely unchanged from January.

The overwhelming majority (88%) of voters who approve of Biden’s plan to vote Democrat midway through this year; of voters who disagree, 70% plan to vote Republican and 19% to vote Democrat.

The 2022 midterm elections are taking place in an atmosphere of broad political discontent. Just 18% of Americans approve of how Congress handles its work, down from an already grim 27% last October — a change largely due to falling ratings among Democrats. The public also gives negative net favor ratings to the Democratic Party (-13 net favor), the GOP (-13 net favor), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (-26) and the Speaker of the Nancy Pelosi Chamber (-26). McCarthy remains largely unknown, 24% have never heard of him and 28% have no opinion – only 4% and 14% respectively say the same of Pelosi.

The Democratic Party is seen by a majority of the public as generally mainstream in its positions on guns (57%), immigration (58%), abortion (58%), racial injustice (60%), the economy (60%) and voting rights and electoral integrity (64%).

The Republican Party is perceived by a majority as out of step on one issue: abortion, on which 55% consider its policy too extreme. Most say the GOP holds dominant positions on voting rights and election integrity (53 percent), immigration (53 percent), guns (54 percent), racial injustice (60 percent). ) and the economy (67%).

Supporters’ feelings toward their own parties are generally warm, with 78% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans holding favorable views of their own parties. And few see their own parties’ policies as too extreme. The highest share of dissatisfaction within the party comes from GOP views on abortion policy, which 24% of Republicans say are too extreme.

The new CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from June 13 to July 13 among a random national sample of 1,459 adults initially contacted by mail, and is the third survey CNN has conducted using this methodology. Surveys were conducted either online or by telephone with a live interviewer. The results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. The results among the 1,203 registered voters have a sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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