New polling revealed the economy has become more important to voters in the run-up to the midterm elections and Republicans are the party of choice to fix it. In a USA Today/Suffolk University generic party-preference poll, voters preferred Republicans 49%-45%.
That is a change from polling 100 days before the election in July when Democrats had a 44%-40% advantage over Republicans. The numbers are being driven by the ever increasing importance of the economy coupled with polling on abortion remaining about the same since the Dobbs decision.
According to the survey, American voters have a very pessimistic view of the economy. More than half, 53%, think we are in a recession, 18% think the economy is stagnate and 10% think it’s in recovery. In addition, a majority of Americans are changing habits like eating out less often and canceling or postponing vacations.
Meanwhile, abortion’s influence on voters has stayed relatively steady. In July, 15% of voters said it was their most important issue. Now, 18% of voters say the same. The number of voters saying the economy and inflation are the most important issues has increased six percentage points since that time.
While the economy is having a big impact when looking at the electorate with a wide angle, abortion is creating a significant difference in preference for independent men and women. Independent women favor Democrats over Republicans 51% to 40%, while independent men favor the Republicans over Democrats 57% to 35%. The polling indicates abortion is a big contributor to that gap.
“Had Roe v. Wade not been overturned, independent women may have voted for the GOP congressional candidate along with their male counterparts on strictly the issue of inflation and a wobbly economy,” Suffolk University Political Research Center Director David Paleologos said in the poll’s release. “Connecting the data points, independent women are venting their anger toward the Supreme Court by breaking with men and voting for the Democrat, despite the economy and other issues.”