Fox News Poll: Voters split on congressional election
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Are Democrats or Republicans better positioned to address voter concerns in this year’s congressional elections? Depends on the issue.
A Fox News national survey asks voters which party would do a better job on 14 issues. Voters split the list between Democrats and Republicans.
They believe Democrats can better handle climate change (+22 points), racism (+20), health care (+16), bringing the country together (+9), coronavirus (+9) and education (+7).
Republicans are preferred on national security (+16 points), border security (+16), crime (+15), the economy (+15), immigration (+15), the federal deficit (+13) and taxes (+11).
There is no clear party advantage on protecting American democracy (Democrats +2).
That all leads to a split matchup: By a one-point margin, voters favor the Republican candidate in their congressional district over the Democratic candidate (44-43%). Last month, Republicans were favored by four points.
“This is good news for Republican prospects for winning the majority,” says Daron Shaw, a Republican pollster who conducts Fox News surveys with Chris Anderson, his Democratic counterpart. “Political science tells us the Democrats need a substantial lead in the national vote to take the House, maybe 4-7 points, to make up for gerrymandering and vote concentrations.”
Nine in 10 Democrats and Republicans favor their party’s candidate. For independents, more back the Republican (30%) than the Democrat (20%) – but the largest number, 46%, are undecided.
Shaw sees a two-fold task for President Biden and the Democrats. “They need to improve their ratings on the key ‘performance’ issues of the economy and coronavirus and raise the salience of traditionally Democratic issues such as health care.”
There have been major shifts in which party has the advantage on certain issues – immigration, taxes and the economy, in particular. Since 2014, voters rated the parties about evenly on handling taxes. Now, they prefer Republicans by 11 points.
It’s an even bigger change on immigration. The survey shows voters think Republicans can do a better job by 15 points, after nearly a decade of slightly preferring Democrats.
Also, Republicans are up by 15 points over Democrats on handling the economy, the best marks the GOP has ever garnered in a Fox News poll going back more than 20 years.
One Democrat in five says Republicans can do a better job on the economy (19%), crime (20%), immigration (20%) and border security (21%). Republicans give Democrats their best marks on handling climate change (26%), racism (19%) and education (18%).
Over half of voters are extremely or very concerned about both voter suppression (58%) and voter fraud (53%). That’s far below other top issues, such as inflation (85%), higher crime rates (81%), political divisions (78%), coronavirus (72%), but closer to the level of concern about North Korea missile tests (68%), the situation between Russia and Ukraine (62%) and migrants at the border (59%).
When asked in a press conference Wednesday about election integrity for the upcoming midterms, Biden appeared to cast doubt on the results.
“I’m not saying it’s going to be legit,” the president said. The White House later clarified that Biden didn’t intend to cast doubt, but many voters are apprehensive.
While 60% generally have faith in the country’s election system, only 24% have “a great deal” of confidence. Forty-eight percent think the process of counting and certifying the vote needs at least major changes, if not a complete overhaul. That’s a touch higher than the 43% favoring federal voting rights legislation (that includes 60% of Democrats and 29% of Republicans).
Democrats are 36 points more likely than Republicans to have confidence in the system, while Republicans are 14 points more likely than Democrats to want major changes/a complete overhaul.
One change voters reject, by 71-26%, is allowing noncitizens to vote in their local community’s municipal elections, a move adopted earlier this month in New York City. Republicans (89%) and independents (77%) are much more inclined than Democrats (50%) to oppose such a law.
Two bills introduced in the U.S. Senate in early January seek to ban members of Congress from trading stocks. There’s widespread support for that, as 72% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans favor the ban.
Conducted Jan. 16-19, 2022, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,001 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.
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