New Polling Shows The Dobbs Decision Won’t Save State Democrats in November
TO: State Legislative Candidates and Elected Officials
FROM: RSLC President Dee Duncan
DATE: June 29, 2022
RE: New Polling Shows The Dobbs Decision Won’t Save State Democrats in November
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision was barely finalized on Friday before Democrats and their allies in the corporate media began asserting that it will have a major impact on state legislative races in the 2022 midterms. As we said numerous times since Justice Alito’s draft opinion leaked, the data doesn’t support such a claim and this election will be a referendum on how Biden and his Democrat allies in the states have destroyed our economy.
We were confident enough in our theory of the case that we commissioned Cygnal to put a battleground poll in the field beginning Saturday morning – when the intensity surrounding the Dobbs ruling was at its peak – to see if anything changed from a similar January Survey. The results affirm that state Republicans remain on offense this year, as they will continue to run campaigns focused on serving as the counterweight to President Biden’s failing economic policies that have created record-high inflation and gas prices.
THE POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT STILL FAVORS STATE REPUBLICANS
Friday’s decision did nothing to change the headwinds state Democrats will face this year as a result of a dismal national political environment. In fact, the right/track wrong numbers and President Biden’s approval rating are worse for Democrats than in our January survey.
Only 23% of likely voters think the country is on the right track compared to 74% who believe it is on the wrong track.
Biden is underwater at 41% favorable, 57% unfavorable.
Republicans state legislative candidates still lead on the generic ballot (47%-45%)
Among the voters surveyed, 48% said they would prefer a Republican candidate who would act as a check and balance on President Biden and his Democratic policies compared to the 44% who would prefer a Democratic candidate who would support President Biden and his Democratic Policies.
ABORTION ISN’T A TOP ISSUE FOR VOTERS…NOT EVEN CLOSE
While abortion is an issue people care about, the data makes clear that it is not among the top issues that will drive voting behavior in November. Instead, this election will remain about Biden’s failing economy.
When asked which of the following issues are most important to them as voters, 56% of those surveyed chose high cost of living / inflation, the economy in general, or unemployment / jobs in comparison to the mere 8% who said abortion. Crime polled higher than abortion in terms of importance at 9%.
High cost of living / inflation: 37%
Economy in general: 16%
Crime / Violence: 9%
Environment / Climate Change: 7%
Voting Rights: 5%
Unemployment / jobs: 3%
60% of Independents said Inflation / the economy in general / jobs are their top concern compared to the 56% of overall likely voters.
Only 30% of likely voters said a candidate’s position on abortion is the absolute most important issue to them, while 65% said there are other issues that they consider to be a higher priority when choosing who to support in November’s election.
Only 21% of Independents said abortion is the absolute most important issue to them.
And less than 40% of likely voters prioritize abortion to an extent that they would be unwilling to vote for a candidate whose views don’t align with theirs on the issue.
Likely voters by a double-digit margin said they would be willing to vote for a candidate who has a different view from them on abortion so long as they agree with them on most other issues (49%-37%).
And of the 37% of voters who are unwilling to vote for a candidate who has different views on abortion then them, 35% are Republicans.
One reason to explain why the economy is the most pressing issue for voters ahead of the fall even in light of the Dobbs ruling? Their personal finances have only gotten worse since our January survey.
Of the likely voters that were surveyed, 51% said their personal finances are worse off than they were a year ago compared to just 13% who said they are better off. That’s a 16% increase since when we asked the question in January when only 39% said their personal finances were worse off compared to the 17% who said they were better off.
Independents are feeling an even higher sting, as 56% say they are worse off.
VOTERS TRUST REPUBLICANS ON THEIR TOP ISSUE: THE ECONOMY
State Republicans are in a strong position ahead of November because they have expanded their leads when it comes to which party voters trust to handle key economic issues.
State Republicans lead 53%-38% on trust to handle the economy in general – up from 50%-38% in January.
State Republicans lead 51%-39% on trust to handle high cost of living / inflation – up from 49%-39% in January.
State Republicans lead 50%-39% on trust to handle unemployment / jobs – up from 49%-40% in January.
Voters trust state Republicans over their Democrat counterparts to handle the economy because they have the right policy solutions.
When asked which policy stance they consider the better solution to combat record high inflation, 58% of likely voters supported the Republican position: cut government spending, reduce taxes, and encourage small business growth, while only 31% supported the Democrat position: increase government spending, tax the wealthy, and impose more regulations on corporations.
62% of Independents sided with the Republican position to combat record inflation and even 31% of Democrats sided with the conservative economic policy.
This data is another reminder that what you see on Twitter and in the press doesn’t necessarily capture reality when it comes to voter behavior. A little more than four months from Election Day, the political environment is still a disaster for state Democrats, state Republicans have a commanding lead on what is far and away the most important issue to voters, and the issues state Democrats are trying to exploit to distract from Biden’s failing economy are not going to be salient enough to save them come November.
Even with empirical evidence displaying the contrary, we shouldn’t expect to see an end to the Democrat- corporate media joint campaign to make abortion the “game changer” of the 2022 midterms. The media didn’t learn their lesson when they said abortion would hurt Republicans in 2020 after the Amy Coney Barrett nomination and we net-gained two state legislative chambers, or when Democrats made abortion the centerpiece of their campaigns in Virginia in 2021 only to suffer a string of embarrassing defeats and lose the House of Delegates -- we shouldn’t expect them to agree with us this time around either.
Thankfully, voters will decide this election instead of journalists in D.C. and New York City. The polling makes clear that we will have a big November if we continue to stay laser-focused on making this election a referendum on the disastrous economic policies of Joe Biden and his state Democrat allies. While Democrats have given us the worst inflation since the Carter years and record-high gas prices, voters across the country support our policies to get the economy back on track.
To channel a saying from legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne: When we get ‘em on the run, we’re going to keep ‘em on the run. We have state Democrats in full retreat on the economy, and now is not the time to let them off the hook.
This survey was conducted June 25 – 26, 2022, with 2007 likely general election voters in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. It has a margin of error of ±2.19%. Known registered voters were interviewed via online panel. This survey was weighted to a likely general election voter universe.
Cygnal is a DC-based, award-winning international polling, public opinion, and predictive analytics firm that pioneered multi-mode polling, text-to-web collection, and emotive analysis. Cygnal consistently ranks as the most accurate firm, and clients rely on Cygnal’s ability to create intelligence for action. Its team members have worked in 48 states and 17 countries on more than 2,700 corporate, public affairs, and political campaigns. The team is involved in hundreds of campaigns, advising nearly every competitive race in the country this cycle.