In addition, voters in Kansas - a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, and that elected Donald Trump by 15 points in 2020 - rejected a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion in that state on August 2nd.
Immigration and the border
Another issue among American voters is a forever divisive one: immigration. Particularly important on the Right, some Republican campaign TV spots - like those, for Gov. Brian Kemp in Georgia, Sen. Rick Scott in Florida, and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake - have used heated rhetoric describing an "invasion" at the Southern border. Over half of American adults (Republicans and Democrats combined) believe it is either completely or somewhat true that the US is experiencing an invasion at the southern border, according to an August 2022 NPR/Ipsos poll, and 48% of voters polled named the topic as very important to their vote. Certain congressional candidates have come out fiercely in opposition to immigration. By tapping into the concerns of voters, particularly about the border crisis, they could garner massive support. Blake Masters' surprising GOP primary win in Arizona can partly be attributed as a result of his hardline immigration stance. His Senate race against current Democrat Senator Mark Kelly is one of the most closely watched ones (along with races for the Senate in Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin)
Other issues: energy policy, foreign policy, climate, and issues around race and ethnicity
Other critical electoral issues for voters include energy policy (53%), foreign policy (45%), the size and scope of the federal government (42%), climate change (40%), and issues around race and ethnicity (35%). Roughly a quarter of voters mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic as important to their vote, the lowest of all issues listed in the survey.
Finally, it is important to note that taken separately, Democrats' and Republicans' priorities differ. If we look at key concerns among the GOP, the economy ranks first by far. Nine out of ten Republican voters view the economy as very important, roughly 20 percentage points higher than any other issue (vs. about 7 out of 10 Democratic voters). Among Democrats, 77% cite health care as a very important voting issue, while about two-thirds or more say the same about abortion and gun policy (71% each), Supreme Court appointments (69%), and climate change (66%). Republicans hold a firm lead on the economy, inflation and crime, but Democrats have the advantage on abortion and climate change.
With Election Day a month away and a stack of divisive issues on the table, it remains to be seen how the balance of power in the House and Senate may ultimately shift. The electoral climate in October looks less grim for the Democrats than just a few months ago. But much can change before voters head to the polls… We're headed for a much more unpredictable November than we previously thought.
Copyright: Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images via AFP
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