Independents broke for Democrats by 4 points in midterms: AP survey
Independents broke for Democrats over Republicans in the 2022 midterms by 4 percentage points nationally, according to a comprehensive survey from NORC at the University of Chicago that polled tens of thousands of voters during the election cycle for The Associated Press.
In key battleground states, independents supported Democrats by an even wider margin than on the national level, according to polling numbers reported by The Wall Street Journal, a recipient of the national NORC survey.
In Pennsylvania, independents broke for Democrats by 18 points, and they supported the party over the GOP by 28 points in Georgia and 30 points in Arizona.
Democrats had a surprisingly good night, outperforming expectations and beating back a number of Republican challengers in several vulnerable House and Senate races.
The red wave that had been expected for the GOP did not emerge, although party control over the House and Senate is still undetermined.
Ahead of Election Day, Democrats focused largely on saving democracy and abortion rights, while Republicans hammered the left for high inflation and crime.
More than 200 2020 election deniers ran for office up and down the ballot across the country, and former President Trump boosted them in the primary, often endorsing candidates who offered allegiance to him and his false claims that President Biden stole the White House.
A stark example of that was in Georgia, where Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) is in a runoff against Republican nominee Herschel Walker, whom Trump both endorsed and encouraged to run in the first place.
About 56 percent of voters in the NORC survey said Warnock had the right experience for the job, while 40 percent said the same for Walker, who has faced a slew of allegations from his past including domestic abuse accusations and allegedly pressuring two women to have abortions.
Also in the survey, about 35 percent of voters said they cast their vote to express opposition to Trump, while 23 percent said they cast a vote to support the former president.
The survey, known as VoteCast, polled more than 94,000 voters nationwide. The poll was conducted for The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and Fox News by NORC at the University of Chicago.