Democrats less enthusiastic about midterms than Republicans: poll

Associated Press/John Locher
People listen as Republican Nevada Senate candidate Adam Laxalt speaks during a get-out-the-vote rally on the first day of early voting Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, in Las Vegas. Laxalt is running against Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Republicans are more enthusiastic about next week’s midterm elections compared to Democrats and independents, according to a new Marist-NPR-PBS NewsHour poll.

Eighty-four percent of registered Republican voters said they were very interested in the election, compared to 68 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of independents, according to the poll, which was released on Wednesday.

Pundits often look to the generic ballot question, which asks respondents which party they would vote for in congressional elections if the contests were held today, to monitor shifts in the political environment.

The new survey found Republicans and Democrats were tied on that question, at 46 percent support, and the GOP eked out a 3-point lead among those indicating they would definitely vote in the midterms.

But the enthusiasm gap furthers alarm for Democrats, who are hoping to turn out voters on issues like abortion and threats to democracy as the party attempts to defend its razor-thin majorities in Congress.

Other pollsters earlier this year found Republicans maintained a sizable enthusiasm lead, but that gap appeared to shrink during the summer and early fall as Democrats made gains following the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling and declining gas prices.

But with a week until the midterms, Republicans have reestablished an enthusiasm advantage.

The Marist-NPR-PBS NewsHour poll also suggests Democrats were more likely to cast their ballots early, which would be in line with recent elections amid attacks on mail-in voting from former President Trump and some in the GOP.

One-third of Democrats told the pollster they had already voted, compared to 22 percent of Republicans, with the partisan gap especially pronounced for mail-in voting.

But more than half of Republicans — 53 percent — indicated they will vote on Election Day, compared to 36 percent of Democrats.

The pollster interviewed 1,469 registered voters Oct. 24-27. The margin of error for samples of registered voters are 3.8 percentage points.

Tags 2022 midterms Poll voter enthusiasm

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