Dems lead on key issues, yet no election edge

People in the United States trust Democrats to do a better job tackling key issues compared to Republicans, but the advantage isn’t amounting to leads in this year's elections, a new poll suggests. 

According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday, the public trusts Democrats more to handle energy policy, immigration issues, healthcare and helping the middle class. 

A plurality, 44 percent, for example, trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle healthcare despite problems associated with ObamaCare. 

The poll indicates 41 percent trust members of both parties equally on how they handle the economy. Respondents were largely split on who handles taxes better, with 42 percent naming Democrats and 41 percent naming Republicans, while Republicans were given a slight advantage on handling the budget deficit, with 39 percent naming the GOP while 37 percent named Democrats.

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More than two-thirds say Republicans are out of touch with concerns of most people in the country, compared to 28 percent who say they’re in touch. 

The public, by contrast, is divided on whether Democrats are in touch with people’s concerns.

The survey does indicate ObamaCare could be an issue for Democrats, as a plurality of respondents, 36 percent, said a candidate's support for the healthcare law would make them less likely to support that candidate.

The Democrats’ edge doesn’t appear to equal support for them in this November’s midterm elections, however. 

If the election were held today for the House and Senate, 46 percent say they would vote for the Democrat and 45 percent would vote for the Republican in each chamber.

Although the public is divided on which party to elect, 68 percent said they’re inclined to look around for someone who doesn’t serve in Congress. Only 22 percent said they plan to reelect their current representative. 

Thirty percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Democrats, 22 percent said they are Republican, and 40 percent said they are independent.