Republicans are poised to make gains in state legislatures as voters seek a bulwark against Biden administration policies in battleground states, according to a GOP poll released Thursday.
The Cygnal survey, commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), shows GOP candidates leading Democrats by 6 percentage points in generic-ballot matchups among likely voters in 13 key states.
In addition, 51% of those surveyed said they prefer a GOP candidate to act as a check on President Biden, while 40% said they want a Democrat to support his agenda.
“The main reason for the momentum state Republicans are experiencing right now is that voters want their state legislatures to serve as a counterweight to the Biden agenda,” RSLC President Dee Duncan said in his analysis.
The GOP already enjoys the advantage in state legislatures, controlling 62 of 99 chambers. Some of those majorities are razor-thin, but the polling found that Republicans have reason for optimism, given that the issues voters are most concerned about also favor the GOP.
At the top of the list was the economy and cost of living, with voters saying they trusted Republicans over Democrats on the issue, 51% to 38%.
The second-highest priority was crime and violence: Survey respondents said they trusted Republicans more than Democrats, 50% to 38%.
The next priority, education, saw Republicans favored by 44-43% in what the RSLC called a “huge development,” given that the issue has favored Democrats in the past.
“If state Republicans continue to run on being the last line of defense against President Biden’s failed leadership and promote policies that stimulate the economy and ease the cost of living, make their communities safer, and empower parents to have more control of their children’s educations, they will have a major advantage on the issues in 2022 in battleground states,” Mr. Duncan said.
Democrats’ lead was slight on issues favoring them: Respondents said they trusted Democrats on COVID-19 over Republicans, 44% to 42%, and voting rights, 45% to 43%.
The poll also found Mr. Biden’s favorability rating underwater, 44% to 54%, with 62% saying they believe the country is on the wrong track.
The poll, conducted Jan. 19-20, surveyed likely general election voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.