Poll: One-third of voters don't know name of their party's congressional candidate

Poll: One-third of voters don't know name of their party's congressional candidate

One in three voters do not know the name of their party’s congressional candidate for their district, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday.

The poll found that among those surveyed, 34 percent of registered Republican voters and 32.5 percent of registered Democratic voters were unable to name their party’s congressional candidate less than five weeks before the midterm election.

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Name recognition is often a main factor in driving voters to the polls and candidates often pump millions of dollars from their campaigns and outside groups to become as recognizable as possible. Yet in an election cycle in which many voters want their ballot to serve as a message to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE, name recognition may not be as significant as it has historically been.

“With the current party polarization, voters increasingly vote based on party (read: like or dislike Trump) rather than the local candidates,” Robert Erikson, a professor of political science at Columbia University in New York City, wrote in an email to Reuters.

“People aren’t voting for their side as much as they are voting against the other side,” Marc Hetherington, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina, also told Reuters. “It really doesn’t matter what the names are these days.” 

Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in the House to take control of the chamber. FiveThirtyEight’s House prediction Wednesday said Democrats have about a 77 percent chance of winning a majority in the House.