Poll: Voters Widely Favor GOP Candidate in Competitive House Districts

Ahead of the November midterm elections, voters widely favor the Republican candidate in competitive House districts crucial to GOP efforts to flip the chamber, a new poll indicates.

Among those living in congressional districts rated at least somewhat competitive by ABC’s FiveThirtyEight, registered voters favor Republican candidates by 55 to 34 percent, according to a poll produced for ABC News/Washington Post by Langer Research Associates. In heavily Democratic districts, Democrats lead by 35 points, “pointing to a potential overvote where they’re most prevalent,” the poll notes.

Accounting for all respondents, 47 percent would vote for the Republican candidate and 46 percent would vote for the Democratic candidate if the House election were held the day of the survey, September 21.

Participants were evenly split, at 42 percent, on which party they trust more to handle the issues confronting the country. Democrats historically have enjoyed the advantage on this question in more than 100 ABC/Post surveys since 1982, according to an analysis of the poll’s results.

A significant majority — 56 percent — of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want to replace President Biden as the 2024 presidential nominee; his job-performance rating remains underwater at 39 percent. On the economy specifically, with inflation reaching historic heights, Biden is hovering at 36 percent approval compared with 57 percent disapproval. The poll cited the historical predictor that, in midterm elections since 1946, when a president’s approval has been less than 50 percent, his party has lost an average of 37 seats in the midterm elections.

Voters have more faith in Republicans by a 16-point margin to handle the economy, which 74 percent agree is in serious trouble, and by a 19-point margin to handle inflation. As for which party controls Congress after the midterms, 48 percent of respondents said they hope for a Republican-led legislature to hold the Biden administration accountable rather than a Democratic-led one that will advance the president’s agenda.

Democrats have been scrambling to convey midterm messaging that characterizes the MAGA movement as an existential threat to the country. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, they have also tried to use the abortion issue to mobilize angry voters. The extent to which Democrats will be able to get out the vote based on this issue remains unclear, though many pollsters still say the election hinges on the economy.

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