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Politics

Republicans Gain Edge as Voters Worry About Economy, Times/Siena Poll Finds

NEW YORK – The Midterm elections are less than a month away, and just when President Joseph Bid and the Democrats were looking to solidify some earlier positive trends – a New York Times/Siena College poll has revealed troubling developments for the party that currently controls the White House, the House, and the Senate.

The most shocking revelation according to an article by Shane Goldmacher, is that “independents, especially women, are swinging to the G.O.P. despite Democrats’ focus on abortion rights,” and that disapproval of President Biden seems to be hurting his party.”

Goldmacher notes that “Republicans enter the final weeks of the contest for control of Congress with a narrow but distinctive advantage as the economy and inflation have surged as the dominant concerns, giving the party momentum to take back power from Democrats in next month’s midterm elections.”

“The survey showed that the economy remained a far more potent political issue in 2022 than abortion,” the Times notes. This apparently upends the Democrats strategy of reaching out to women who consider themselves political independents, focusing on the threat Republicans pose to abortion rights.

Indeed, “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…  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

The polls confirm the validity of then-candidate Bill Clinton’s slogan, “it’s the economy, stupid – as Goldmacher writes, “with inflation unrelenting and the stock market steadily on the decline, the share of likely voters who said economic concerns were the most important issues facing America has leaped since July, to 44 percent from 36 percent — far higher than any other issue. And voters most concerned with the economy favored Republicans overwhelmingly, by more than a two-to-one margin.”

In the poll shows. that 49 percent of ‘likely voters’ declared they would vote for a Republican congressional candidate, compared with 45 percent who said they would vote for a Democrat.

Historically, the first midterm election is a big bump in the road for a president, and Goldmacher emphasized that “Democrats are approaching this one saddled with a president who has a disapproval rating of 58 percent, including 63 percent of independent voters. Democrats have no margin for error in 2022 — with the slimmest of majorities in the House and a 50-50 Senate.”

 

(Material from the New York Times was used in this article.)

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