Republicans are gaining momentum with voters in the battle for control of Congress, according to a new poll that showed a 10-point swing away from Democrats in the past month.
Republicans went from being down by 7 points in August to up by 3 in September, further buoying the GOP’s hopes it can secure a sizable House majority and possibly eke out a victory in the 50-50 split Senate, a Monmouth University poll released Monday found.
Democrats have been backed into a corner by a crime wave across the U.S., persistent inflation, high gasoline prices, rising interest rates and escalating fears that the economy is teetering on the edge of a recession.
“Because the congressional map favors the GOP, Democrats need to do more than ‘keep it close’ to hold onto their House majority. One roadblock for them is that the issue picture favors Republicans,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said. “Democrats are all over the place when it comes to their key issues. This makes it difficult for the party to create a cohesive messaging strategy to motivate its base. Republicans, on the other hand, just have to hammer away at rising prices and ‘the wolf is at the door’ to get their voters riled up.”
The top three issues that voters considered “extremely or very important” were inflation (82%), crime (72%) and elections and voting (70%). The three issues that scored the lowest were climate change (49%), the COVID-19 pandemic (32%) and student loan debt (31%).
President Biden’s approval rating isn’t helping his Democrats. His approval rating has remained underwater with 38% approving and 54% disapproving. More importantly, Mr. Biden received poor marks when it came to handling issues most important to voters: 30% approval on inflation, 32% on crime and 43% on elections and voting.
House Democrats’ campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, did not immediately respond to a request.
A separate NBC News/Telemundo survey released Sunday also spelled trouble for Democrats. It showed that their advantage among Hispanic voters has been slashed in half over the past decade.
A majority of the key voting bloc still approved of Mr. Biden but preferred Republicans when it came to the economy, border security and crime. More than half — 51% — of Hispanic voters disapproved of the president’s handling of border security while 42% approved. Just 41% approved of his job with the economy.
Immigration has been thrust into the spotlight ahead of the elections with record illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border and Republican governors in border states relocating migrants to Democratic-led cities.
The Monmouth poll was conducted Sept. 21-25 by telephone among 806 adults. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points.