• Polling

Midterm Voter Survey: Democrats Drew Even with Republicans Among Those “Somewhat Disapproving” of Biden

Friday, November 18, 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.

What We Did: 2022 Midterm Voters Survey

The slides in this presentation are based on interviews with 5,013 registered voters who had already voted or planned to vote in the November election, with interviews conducted November 1st through November 14th . Support for Democratic candidates and Republican candidates in elections for Governor, Senate, and the House of Representatives have been adjusted to reflect the actual expected results as of November 14th . The analysis aims to provide a new tool for Americans to understand what happened in the 2022 election, why it happened…and what’s next.

Key takeaways

  • Biden’s approval ratings were negative among 2022 voters. But only two in five said he was a “significant” factor in their vote and even fewer who gave him lukewarm ratings said the same.
  • Those who “somewhat” disapprove of Biden on the economy still went overwhelmingly for Democrats in the House and Senate.
  • Persuasion was key: “winning swing” voters who clinched Democratic victories in tough races were largely moderates who disapproved of Biden but were persuaded to vote for Democrats.
  • Voters were deterred by extremism. “MAGA Republicans,” Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Donald Trump were deeply underwater in the 2022 electorate, particularly among “winning swing” and ticket-splitting voters.

Midterm Voters Held Broadly Negative Views of Biden’s Job Performance, Especially on Crime, the Economy, and Immigration

“Winning swing” voters who voted for Democrats in key races gave Biden net positive marks on coronavirus (net +14 approve), abortion (+10), and health care (+3), but negative marks on the economy (net -41 approve), immigration (-27), and crime (-22).

Just Two in Five Call Biden a “Significant Factor” in Vote; Those With Mixed Views of Him Even Less Likely to Say So

Just half of those who somewhat disapprove of Biden overall (50%) and on the economy (51%) said he was a factor in their vote.

Lukewarm Biden Views Didn’t Deter Voters from Democrats, Particularly Those Who Gave Him Tepid Economic Ratings

Voters who somewhat disapprove of Biden on the economy still voted for House Democrats by 36 points and Senate Democrats by 46.

  • Those who gave Biden a “C” grade overall also voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the House (+29D) and Senate (+35D).

Ratings of Biden’s Performance Are Mixed, But Bright Spots Emerge Among Voters of Color

Three in four (75%) Black Americans give Biden an “A” or “B”, as do 53% of AAPI and just under half of Hispanics (48%).

  • Among “winning swing” voters, two in three (67%) give him middling ratings of a B, C, or D.

Democratic Successes Deeply Popular Among “Winning Swing” & Biden Economic Disapprovers Persuaded to Vote Democratic

Overwhelming majorities of “winning swing” voters who clinched victories for Democrats in competitive races and of those voters who disapproved of Biden on the economy but voted for a Democrat in 2022 support a range of policies passed by Biden and Democrats.

“Winning Swing” Voters Who Supported Democrats in Key Races Were Moderates Who Disapproved of Biden

“Winning swing” voters were largely moderate (63%) with a slight Democratic lean (+3D). They held low approval ratings for Biden overall (net -30) and on the economy (net -41), but were deeply unfavorable toward Republican figures and groups including MAGA Republicans (net -43 favorable) and Donald Trump (net -30 favorable)

MAGA Republicans, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Trump Are Unpopular Outside GOP Base

White non-college and straight ticket Republican voters are the only groups to rate MAGA Republicans and Donald Trump favorably; just straight ticket Republican voters rate Marjorie Taylor Greene favorably. • “Winning swing” (-43) and those who split their tickets between Democrats and Republicans in 2022 (-35) gave MAGA Republicans deeply negative ratings.

Both Parties “Out of Touch” in Senate Battleground; “Winning Swing” Describe GOP More As “Dangerous,” “Extreme”

Among “winning swing,” while just 22% say the Democratic Party is dangerous and 27% say it is extreme, 40% of “winning swing” call the Republican Party “dangerous” and 39% call it “extreme.”

In Senate Battleground and Among Swing, Candidate Quality More of a Reason to Vote for Democrats Than Republicans

Senate voters who were unfavorable to “MAGA Republicans” gave Democratic Senate candidates more than 50-point advantages on a range of positive traits, and those in states with competitive races gave Democrats at least 8-point advantages on each.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 5,013 registered voters from November 1-November 14, 2022, with respondents recruited from opt-in online panel vendors. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of the sample reflected that of the expected 2022 electorate in the House, Senate, and Governor’s races. The vote shares for Democrats and Republicans among self-reported 2022 voters were also adjusted to reflect a preliminary estimate of the actual results of the 2022 elections.

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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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