- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2014

It’s not quite thundering down the home stretch. The political horserace is more at a canter, but a steady one. Neck-and-neck competition between the Republican and Democratic parties for elusive voters continues, with the Grand Old Party about a hoofbeat ahead. A new Pew Research Center poll says that the GOP bests the Dems among likely voters.

“GOP voters continue to be more engaged with the midterm election than Democrats. Republican voters are 15 points more likely than Democrats to say they’ve given a lot of thought to the election, and 12 points more likely to say they definitely will vote,” the Pew few say. “GOP voters also express more enthusiasm for voting in the upcoming midterm than their Democratic counterparts.”

Americans, meanwhile, have different perceptions about what matters once they get in the polling booth.

83 percent of registered U.S. voters cite the economy as a “very important” influence over their midterm vote for Congress; 88 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats agree.

77 percent overall cite healthcare as an important influence; 75 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats agree.

75 percent overall cite terrorism; 87 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats agree.

65 percent overall cite the budget deficit; 81 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

The source for all this: A Pew Research Center poll of 2,002 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 2-9.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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