• Polling

Democrats Narrowly Lead in the Race for Congress

Thursday, October 27, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
Download Full Report
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

  • Though Biden’s approval ratings are underwater, ratings of Republicans in Congress are more deeply so with abortion and Trump dominating the negative things Americans are hearing about them.
  • Two in three are uneasy about the state of American democracy, and while the same share is confident their past and future ballots have been/will be counted correctly and fairly, still one in three are not confident.
  • The Democratic Party brand is strongest on doing what is best for the country and standing up for the middle class, while Republicans hold advantages on valuing hard work and keeping Americans safe.

Biden Underwater Overall and on the Economy, But Republicans in Congress Have Lower Approval Rating

Republicans in Congress are 10-points more deeply underwater on approval (-22 net approval) than the president (-12). Independents rate Republicans in Congress more negatively than they do Biden (net -41 Biden, net -47 Republicans in Congress).

Nearly Three in Five Americans Disapprove of Republicans in Congress, With Emphasis on Abortion and Trump

As Republicans in Congress are 22 points underwater, the main negatives Americans recall on them include their support for abortion bans, their fealty to Trump, their involvement/support for the actions that took place on January 6th, 2021, and “rights” being taken away

Among Those Registered to Vote, GOP Lead Among Those Concerned About Economy and Not Abortion

Among the 53% of Americans who say jobs and the economy or inflation are among their top issues and say abortion is not, a generic Republican leads by 24 points; among the other 47% of Americans, a generic Democrat leads by 35 points.

Supporters of Each Party Say Their Vote Is About Supporting Their Own Party, Not Just Voting Against the Opposition

Overwhelming majorities of those voting for a Republican candidate (82%) and those voting for a Democratic candidate (79%) say their vote is a vote for their chosen candidate’s party, not against the opposing candidate’s party.

Americans Report Feeling “Hopeful,” “Uneasy” About Election

Independents report feeling “uneasy,” while Republicans (54%) and Democrats (50%) are hopeful most of all in thinking about the upcoming elections this year.

Three in Ten Americans Have Volunteered in Politics, Attended Events, or Donated to Political Candidates or Organizations

Three in four have talked or posted about politics since Biden was elected (76%). On more high-intensity engagement like volunteering, attending events, or donating, 36% of Democrats have done this compared to just 26% of Republicans and 17% of independents.

Nearly Two in Three Uneasy About American Democracy

Bipartisan majorities are uneasy about the state of American democracy today, with independents (76%) and Republicans (76%) particularly uneasy though 52% of Democrats say the same.

While Most Are Confident in Past/Future Ballots, Still a Third of Americans Do Not Think Ballots Are Counted Fairly

Republicans are the most pessimistic about their ballot in the previous election (55% not confident) and future elections (47% not confident) being counted correctly and fairly, though 38% of independents are also not confident about past ballots and 42% about future ballots.

Most Feel the Election Has Ramifications for Them and Their Family, and One in Three Say “Significant”

Republicans (76% impact) and Democrats (72%) are each more likely than independents (59%) to say the midterm elections will have an impact on the lives of them and their family. Two in five of each say it will have a significant impact (36% of Democrats, 41% Republicans).

Slightly Greater Share Say Republicans Focused on Wrong Things, Though Neither Party Endears Much Faith

Both parties are underwater by roughly 20 points among independents on the measure (net -21 right things on the Democratic Party, net -20 right things on the Republican Party). Views of the Republican Party’s focus have declined by 23 points among Hispanics.

The Democratic Brand Is Strongest on Doing What Is Best For the Country and Standing Up for the Middle Class

Americans see both parties as trying to do what is best for the country (+10 describes Democrats well, +8 describes Republicans well).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from October 20-October 24, 2022. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 78 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 104 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters.

Like the info here?

Get it directly in your inbox when new polls are released.

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.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org