• Polling

Americans Want the Republican House to Focus on Lowering Costs, Crime, and Immigration, Not Investigations or Abortion Bans

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

Key takeaways

  • The most concerning potential outcomes of a House Republican majority include ending the guarantee of Social Security and Medicare, abortion bans, overturning elections, and preventing Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices.
  • Republicans in Congress are deeply underwater on approval, as are Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and Marjorie Taylor Greene on favorability.
  • A growing majority say the Republican Party is “extreme” as the share who say the same of the Democratic Party is in decline.
  • In the lame duck Congress, Americans most intensely support codifying abortion rights and same-sex marriage, as well as banning assault weapons. The “Momnibus” bill and NDAA reauthorization are also popular.

Republicans in Congress Are Deeply Underwater; Concerns About Possible Investigations Emerge in Negative Recall

Republicans in Congress are above water among their own partisans (+32 approval), but all other partisan, racial, and ethnic groups disapprove by double-digit margins, including independents by net -44 (18% approve/62% disapprove).

Americans Are “Hopeful,” “Uneasy,” “Worried” About GOP House Control & Say It Will Have an Impact on Them

Republicans drive the share feeling “hopeful” (77%) and “relieved” (63%), though only 45% of Republicans say they are “excited.”

  • Independents are less likely than partisans to believe that Republicans winning the House will have a real impact on their lives (45%, compared to 61% of Democrats and 63% of Republicans).

Top Concerns About GOP House: Ending Guarantee of SS/Medicare, Abortion Bans, Overturning Elections, Drug Prices

Americans are more concerned about Republicans “ending the guarantee of Social Security and Medicare” (73% total concerning, 53% very concerning) than “raising the retirement age to be eligible for Social Security and Medicare” (66% total, 38% very).

Ending Guarantee of Social Security & Medicare and Abortion Bans Are Top Two Concerns on Republican House

Across party, ending the guarantee of Social Security and Medicare and abortion bans are most concerning (51% and 48% of Democrats say they are the most concerning, as do 42% and 38% of independents and 36% and 26% of Republicans, respectively).

Americans Want GOP to Focus on Costs, Crime, and the Border Over Investigating Biden and Banning Abortion

Just one in four or less would prefer the Republican Party focus on investigating President Biden and his administration or banning abortion nationwide when pitted against lowering costs, reducing violent crime, and dealing with the situation at the southern border.

Majorities View Both the Republican Party and Some of Its Key Figures Unfavorably

Republican Party leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene are significantly less favorable than the Republican Party, which itself is 14 points underwater.

  • Mitch McConnell is viewed unfavorably across partisan lines (including net -10 among Republicans).

After Learning of His Support for Abortion Bans & Overturning the 2020 Election, Majorities Are Less Favorable to McCarthy

A majority of Americans say his support for passing a nationwide abortion ban makes them less favorable to Kevin McCarthy, including 74% of Democrats, 50% of independents, and even 34% of Republicans.

Messaging on McCarthy’s Positions Moves Him Even Further Underwater Among a Majority of Americans

After respondents read about his support for nationwide abortion bans, his vote to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, and other details, 51% say they have an unfavorable view of Kevin McCarthy, including 45% of independents.

An Increasing Share of Americans See Republicans as Extreme; Fewer See Democrats as Extreme

Republicans are now viewed as 11-points more extreme than they were in May (from net +18 extreme to net +29), including an 8-point increase among independents (from net +19 to net +27).

  • There has been a 14-point decline in the share who say the Democratic Party is extreme since May (from net +23 extreme to net +9), driven by an improvement among Democrats (from net -17 extreme to net -43) and independents (from net +20 to net +13).

Americans Divided on the Direction of the Parties; More Say Republicans are Focused on the Wrong Things

Black Americans (+57 right things), AAPI Americans (+22), and Hispanic Americans (+20) are more likely to say the Democratic Party is focused on the right things.

  • Independents say both the Democratic Party (-22) and the Republican Party (-15) are focused on the wrong things.

Intensity of Support Highest for Protecting Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage, and Banning Assault Weapons in Lame Duck Congress

In terms of total support, the “Momnibus” bill (72% support) and re-authorizing the NDAA (71%) are the most broadly popular.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 999 registered voters from November 17-November 21, 2022. 105 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 80 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 105 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

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