The economy and inflation are among top issues in the midterm elections, and voters are expected to favour Republicans to improve the economy, according to recent polling data.
And while those subjects are top of mind for many voters, issues such as abortion rights and threats to democracy are also driving Americans to the polls.
Eighty-one per cent of voters are either “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the state of the economy, according to an NBC News poll on November 4.
Although the labour market has remained strong under President Joe Biden and recovered all jobs lost in the coronavirus pandemic, persistent inflation and threats of a looming recession may have soured the average American’s economic outlook.
Inflation is down from a four-decade-high earlier this summer, but remains historically high, despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts this year to tighten monetary policy.
Many Republican congressional candidates have seized on the complicated inflation situation and criticised the Democrats’ handling of the economy by highlighting the impact of inflation on American families.
According to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, voters trust Republicans more to combat inflation and handle the economy. Fifty-two per cent of voters trust Republicans on the economy more than Democrats and 50 per cent of likely voters trust Republicans with handling inflation while only 38 per cent trust Democrats.
Beyond economic issues, outrage over the US Supreme Court striking down Roe vs Wade, which protected the right to obtain an abortion on constitutional grounds for nearly half a century, galvanised the left and in the summer seemed to offer Democratic candidates a pathway to midterm victories. Though the path has been choked by Republican blame on Democrats for decades-high inflation and an economic downturn, abortion remained a central campaign issue until the very end
According to a Washington Post-ABC poll, 22 per cent of voters said abortion was the single most important issue this election cycle, second only to the 26 per cent of voters who cited the economy.
In the poll, 21 per cent of voters named threats to democracy as their single most important election issue, tying inflation.
Republicans have also been vocal about crime on the campaign trail, rebuking Democrats — particularly those who lead major cities — for rising rates of gun violence since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fifty-four per cent of voters trust Republicans with crime issues, the poll found, though only 14 per cent of respondents listed it as their top priority. Immigration lagged behind with 9 per cent.