Thursday, April 18, 2024

Poll Shows Economy Remains Top Voting Issue, Could Spell Democrat Doom

Back about 30 years ago, before the Democrats were completely lost to the woke sensibilities that command their party today, James Carville, chief strategist for Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign, coined a short, straightforward phrase that helped fell the presidency of George H.W. Bush and has since lived on as an often-referenced part of America’s political lexicon.

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

Those four words, reportedly first uttered by Carville to members of his campaign as a way to keep them focused on one of the salient issues of the day, challenged the Bush economy, which many believed back then had slipped into a recession — though it was later discovered the leading indicators were still growing, just really, really slowly.

Consumer concerns about the current economy — which many analysts agree looks, moves and sounds like a recession, although the Biden administration still isn’t admitting to it — could usher in another political sea change, only this time with Republicans turning the red tide, as mounting research is suggesting will happen.

Results from a new poll conducted by the Harvard Center for Advanced Political Studies and Harris Insights and Analytics company show Republicans are leading Democrats on the generic ballot among likely voters — meaning, if the election for Congressional seats were held right now, 53 percent of the study’s respondents said they were more likely to vote for a Republican, while 47 percent said they would vote for a Democrat.

Even as Democrats trust issues like abortion, climate change, and threats to democracy by so-called “MAGA Republicans” will most likely swing voters, the survey indicates those issues may not actually top the list of priorities for many voters. The survey found that only 55 percent of respondents believed the issue of abortion was “very important,” along with 47 percent who said the same about climate change and 41 percent who identified the threat to democracy posed by those who support former President Donald Trump or at least believe in the values he espouses.

One indicator that explains the polling is that the economy placed first among issues that respondents considered “very important,” at 74 percent, followed by crime, at 68 percent, and immigration, at 59 percent. Those issues are all considered Republicans’ preferred midterm topics, which they think will motivate voters to use the November elections as a referendum on the policies of President Biden and the Democratic Party.

“We see a trend of Republican voters being more energized as they are driven by kitchen table issues like crime and inflation,” Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey, told The Hill. “While the overall electorate is close, likely midterm voters and significantly voting more Republican. Looks like a standard post-ejection midterm.”

The polling was released roughly three weeks before the midterms when Republicans are expected to take the House majority.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey was conducted on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 with 2,010 registered voters polled for the total survey.

The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics.