President Biden and Democrats appear to be losing ground with independent and suburban voters ahead of November’s midterm elections, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released exclusively to The Hill on Monday.
Fifty-six percent of suburban voters in the poll said they believe former President Trump was a better president than President Biden, while 44 percent said they believed Biden was the better president. Among surveyed voters who were labeled “Independent or other,” 55 percent said they believed Trump was the better president and 45 percent said they believed Biden was the better president.
Meanwhile, 57 percent of suburban respondents said they are more likely to vote for a Republican candidate in the midterms, while 43 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a Democratic candidate. The poll found the same results among voters labeled “Independent or other.”
The latest findings mark a major shift for both parties heading into the midterms. During the Trump administration, suburban voters swung toward Democrats, giving the party control of the House in 2018 and the Senate and the presidency in 2020.
The findings represent a trend first seen at the ballot box during last year’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey. Republicans in both states campaigned on issues that appeared to resonate largely with suburban voters, including education and rising prices. The issue propelled Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R ) to the governor’s mansion and gave Republicans a majority in the House of Delegates. While Republicans were less successful in New Jersey, the party performed better than expected.
National Republicans say they will continue to focus on the issues of education, rising prices and crime going into the midterms.
The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey of 1,815 registered voters was conducted from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2022. 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.