New polls find economy tops list of voter priorities in midterms

by Trinity Cardinal

Chris Lange, FISM News

The economy will be uppermost on the minds of U.S. voters heading into the November midterm elections, according to two new polls, the findings of which do not bode well for Democrats.

According to survey results published by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, a British Polling Council Member, 58% of American voters said the state of the nation’s economy is the key factor that will determine how they vote in the midterms. 

The findings are backed up by an AP-NORC study which found that 70% of Americans believe the nation’s economy is “poor,” including a surprising majority of Democrats (52%). Among Republicans, 90% felt this way, along with 76% of Independent voters. 

The study also found that a vast majority of Americans (70%) feel the country is going in the “wrong direction.” A breakdown of the overall percentage shows that 93% of Republicans, 72% of Independents, and 49% of Democrats disapprove of the direction in which the country is heading under the Biden administration.

President Biden’s overall job approval rating came in at 45%, while 55% disapprove of the job he’s doing. A whopping 66% of Americans say they disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy and 56% of those surveyed said they disapproved of Biden’s foreign policy decisions. 

Democrats are increasingly fearful of a major red wave this fall as the country under the Biden administration is facing record-breaking inflation and fuel costs, ongoing supply-chain problems, and soaring crime. The concern appears to be well-founded; 70% of Americans now describe the nation’s current economy as “poor,” according to the AP-NORC findings.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in southern border states have joined their Republican counterparts in urging the Administration to reverse its decision to lift Title 42, a pandemic-related health requirement that has enabled law enforcement to expel roughly half of illegal migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The repeal, set to go into effect May 23, is expected to result in a massive new influx of illegal immigration that threatens to topple record-breaking numbers already seen since Biden took office. At the halfway mark of Fiscal Year 2022, migrant encounters at the border are on track to easily surpass the unprecedented 1.7 million encounters made in FY 2021.

The study also found that the President’s approval rating concerning his response to Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine is at 36%, with 54% saying the response has not been tough enough. Eight percent said the response has been “too severe.”

Despite these grim numbers, the President recently expressed confidence that his party will prevail in the midterms. At a Thursday fundraiser event held at a yacht club in Portland, Oregon, Biden went so far as to predict that Democrats will pick up two additional seats in the Senate, which would give them a 52-48 majority.

Rather than focusing on mitigating the problems of struggling Americans, the White House continues to focus on Republicans.

“The far right’s taken over that party,” Biden said of the GOP during the fundraiser. “And it’s not even conservative in a traditional sense of conservatism. It’s mean. It’s ugly.”

Meanwhile, some Biden allies continue to suggest the administration merely suffers from a messaging problem.

“He’s not an effective communicator,” said Wes Bellamy, founder of Our Black Party, an advocacy group focused on bolstering African American communities.

Bellamy said the President “speaks in a tone that doesn’t really resonate with much of his base,” adding, “and I don’t think they do a good enough job of being active on the ground.”

The AP-NORC Center for Public Research poll was conducted April 14-22, 2022 from interviews with 1,085 U.S. adults, with a sampling error of +/- 3.9%.

The  Redfield and Wilton Strategies poll was conducted April 18, 2022, among a population sampling of 1,500 eligible voters in the U.S. A sampling error was not included in the report.