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GOP leads Democrats among likely voters on generic ballot: poll

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Greg Nash
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is seen during a press event on Thursday, September 29, 2022 to discuss their ‘Commitment to America’ plan.

Republicans are leading Democrats on the generic ballot among likely voters, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey exclusively shared with The Hill.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released on Monday found that if the election for Congress was held today, 53 percent of respondents polled said they were more likely to vote for a Republican than 47 percent who said the same for a Democrat.

One indicator that underscores this polling is the fact that the survey found the economy placed first among issues that respondents considered “very important,” at 74 percent. That was followed by crime, at 68 percent, and immigration, at 59 percent.

All of those issues are considered Republicans’ preferred midterm issues as they bet that voters will use the November elections as a referendum on President Biden and the Democratic Party. 

“We see a trend of Republican voters being more energized as they are driven by kitchen table issues like crime and inflation,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey. “While the overall electorate is close, likely midterm voters and significantly voting more Republican. Looks like a standard post ejection midterm. 

And while Democrats believe issues like abortion, climate change and threats to democracy could swing voters, the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey indicates those issues may not be top of mind for as many Americans. The survey found that only 55 percent of respondents believed the issue of abortion was “very important,” in addition to 47 percent who said the same about climate change and 41 percent for “the threat to democracy of MAGA Republicans.”

The polling comes three weeks out from the midterms, when Republicans are widely expected to take the House majority. Democrats are hoping to keep the Senate amid competitive fundraising hauls and polling against their GOP counterparts, though recent polling has shown many of those races tightening up.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey was conducted on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 with 2,010 registered voters polled for the total survey. 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.

Tags Biden economy generic ballot Inflation Mark Penn midterms

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