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Pew: More Republicans will vote ‘against Biden’ in midterms than Democrats ‘for’ him

The Pew Research Center survey also found more Republicans than Democrats say partisan control of Congress "really matters," a reversal compared to 2018.

(CN) — American voters on the right are more likely than their liberal peers to say the winning party of the midterm congressional elections “really matters” this year, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, 67% of Democrats said that partisan control of Congress “really matters,” while only 65% of Republicans said the same. According to the new poll, which was conducted from March 7 to March 13 this year, seven in 10 Republicans held this sentiment this time around, while only 60% of Democrats agreed.

The results suggest that members of the reigning president’s party worry somewhat less about the outcome of the congressional elections compared to members of the party that did not win the executive branch.

Another one of the pollsters’ findings lends credence to this interpretation: President Joe Biden inspires more Republicans to vote in the midterm than he does Democrats. Of registered Republican and Republican-leaning voters, 71% consider their vote one “against” Biden, but just 46% of Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters say their vote is one “for” Biden.

Analyzing the respondents as a whole, 36% of registered voters said their vote is one “against Biden” and 24% said it will be “for” the Democratic president. For 38% of all voters, Biden is “not much of a factor” in their vote.

The voting public is split on which party’s candidate they support: of all registered voters, if the November 2022 midterm election were held today, 43% would vote for the Democratic candidate and 43% would vote for the Republican. One in 10 voters is unsure who they’d pick, and 4% would opt for a third-party candidate.

Election security is a concern to many voters: 37% of all respondents, including those not registered to vote, said they were “not too” or “not at all confident” that the November midterms will be conducted “fairly and accurately,” while 63% were “somewhat” or “very confident.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, concern for election security is a politically polarized topic: at 53%, just more than half of conservatives expressed little or no confidence in the accuracy and fairness of the November midterms, while three-quarters of liberals were confident in the elections’ integrity.

The researchers also asked about voters’ top issues: 78% said the economy was “very important” to their vote, and voting policies were second-most important at 61%. Healthcare, education, energy policy and foreign policy all hovered at or just below 60%. 

Just 40% of voters are concerned about climate change, though this issue saw the largest partisan spread — only 14% of Republican voters consider the climate “very important” to their vote, while 64% of Democrats considered it important. Similarly, 54% of registered Democrat voters consider race and ethnicity a top priority, compared to 35% of all voters and only 14% of Republicans.

The least important issue to voters overall, at just one-in-three voters considering it very important, was the coronavirus outbreak. This was also a polarizing issue: 46% of Democrats consider Covid-19 a very important issue to their vote, while only 19% of Republicans agree.

To find these figures, the nonpartisan research organization asked 11,687 American adults to participate; 10,441 panelists responded to the online polls between March 7 and March 13, 2022. Results from the full sample of respondents are accurate plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

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