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Inflation, crime, immigration top voter concerns ahead of midterms: poll

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Inflation, crime and immigration are entrenched as voters’ top concerns heading into next month’s midterm elections, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.

Seventy-four percent of voters surveyed named inflation as “very important,” while 22 percent said it is “somewhat important.” Sixty-eight percent, meanwhile, said crime is a “very important” issue, while 26 percent said it is only “somewhat important.” And 59 percent of voters called immigration a “very important” issue while 31 percent said it is “somewhat important.” Abortion was ranked fourth in the new survey, with 55 percent calling it a “very important issue,” and 29 percent saying it is “somewhat important.”

“The big issues of everyday life are overpowering issues like choice and climate change as we approach the election,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll. “Undeniably this last inflation report hurt the administration and so are the daily crime stories in big cities.”

The findings come as the midterm campaign season enters its final stretch. With polls up and down the ballot showing tightening races, the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey found Republicans narrowly leading on the generic ballot. Republicans hold a 6-point advantage, 53 percent to 47 percent, over Democrats.

The same poll also found that more voters said inflation, crime and immigration are more likely to persuade them to vote for Republicans. Forty-eight percent said inflation is more likely to make them vote Republican, while 36 percent said it is more likely to make them vote Democratic. Forty-seven percent said crime is more likely to make them cast a vote for a Republican while 25 percent said it is more likely to make them vote for a Democrat. Forty-six percent said immigration is more likely to persuade them to vote Republican and 35 percent said it is more likely to make them vote Democratic.

The gap appeared narrower when it came to abortion, with 41 percent saying abortion is more likely to get them to vote Democratic and 38 percent saying it is more likely to get them to vote Republican.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 2,010 registered voters was conducted Oct. 12-13. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.  

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