Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Latest Battleground Poll Shows Things Getting Worse for Democrats

Latest Battleground Poll Shows Things Getting Worse for Democrats

(AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)

The CBS Battleground Poll shows that Republicans have stopped a two-month slide and have stabilized their position while the Democrats have stalled out.

The CBS poll translates numbers into Congressional seats, and today’s numbers three weeks out from Election Day show 224 seats for the Republicans and 211 for the Democrats. But individual races are beginning to swing toward the GOP, so we can expect that number of seats to climb substantially. The Republicans are on the cusp of a wave election if they can win an additional 7-10 races.

What’s now driving the electorate are issues that radically favor the GOP: the economy and inflation. Republicans have a huge lead over Democrats on those issues, and inflation is the number one issue that people are concerned about.

We wanted to understand just how voters assign blame — or reward — on the economy. For the Democrats, it brings a sobering look at how voters reason from the results they see before them.

By double digits, Democrats are still losing independents who report their personal financial situation is bad, and those for whom high prices have made their lives worse or more difficult.

Democratic policies are not the main reason people see for inflation — more pin blame on international forces and supply issues — but the party isn’t absolved either.

Indeed, 48% of voters blame Democrats for high prices — not an insignificant number. And specifically, voters blame Joe Biden, with 71% believing Biden is ” a lot” or “somewhat” responsible, while only 28% say he’s “a little” or “not at all” to blame.

For Democrats it’s abortion — wall to wall, start to finish. They have apparently topped out their support, and it won’t help them any more than it already has.

The issue brought the Democrats into contention in the face of all that economic news. It’s still critical, but it has not significantly expanded its importance since.

We’ve said for a while much of this contest is about who can definine what the election is about. The Democratic campaigns want it to be about abortion, and for so many voters it already is, but over the last month, Democrats haven’t grown the number of voters who see abortion as very important.

The percentage who say abortion is very important is actually a little lower now than last month.

Abortion will marginally affect a handful of races in blue states where Republicans have a shot, like the New York governor’s race. But overall, it’s not a game-changer for control of Congress or the Senate.

As voters begin to focus more on the races, the GOP should see some of those toss-up races begin to swing their direction and undecided voters break their way. How sharp they break toward Republicans will tell the tale of how big the Republican majority will be.

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