Democrats are entering the homestretch before November’s election in better shape than earlier this year, boosted by gains among independent voters, improved views of President Biden and higher voting enthusiasm among abortion-rights supporters, a Wall Street Journal poll shows.
Republicans have electoral fuel to tap into if they can keep the debate focused on the economy and what has been the highest inflation in four decades. Nearly two-thirds of registered voters say the economy isn’t good or poor—a larger share than in the last Journal survey, in March—and close to two-thirds say the pain of higher costs makes them more likely to cast a ballot.
Democrats hold a slight edge over Republicans, 47% to 44%, when voters are asked which party they would support in their congressional district if the election were held today, a lead that is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. Republicans had a five-point advantage in March.
The Democratic gains come from increased support among independents, women and younger voters. Black and Hispanic voters, who have traditionally favored Democrats heavily, are also more solidly supportive of the party than they were earlier this year.
Among political independents, typically the key to victory in close elections, more voters now favor a Democratic candidate for Congress than a Republican, 38% to 35%. In March, Republicans led among independents by 12 percentage points.
Before the Supreme Court’s late-June reversal of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, the GOP had been more optimistic about its prospects, in part because the party that doesn’t control the White House typically makes midterm-election gains.
“Republicans were cruising, and Democrats were having a hard time,” said Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, who conducted the survey along with Democrat John Anzalone. “It’s almost like the abortion issue came along and was kind of like a defibrillator to Democrats.“
Final margin: Peltola (D) defeats Palin (R) 51.5%-48.5% in the final round of ranked-choice. This is a huge victory and pickup for Dems, driven more by Palin's unpopularity than national trends. #AKAL— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) September 1, 2022