Over the last four years, Democrats used President Trump as a foil to drive voter turnout. While that may have worked, recent polling from the Pew Research Center suggests this tactic may not be available now to the vulnerable Democratic Congressional majority because the advantage has shifted to Republicans.
As the midterms approach, polling shows that 70% of Republicans believe partisan control of Congress “really matters.” This 70% is a five-point increase over how Republicans felt moving into the 2018 midterm elections when the GOP lost 41 U.S. House seats and two Senate seats. Today, only 60% of Democrats feel that partisan control in Congress really matters in 2022, compared to 67% in 2018. The significant shift provides yet another signal of a strong return to the majority in Congress for Republicans this fall.
When asked if they considered their vote to be one cast against, for, or not a factor of President Biden, 71% of Republicans answered that theirs is a vote against Biden. That’s compared to only 46% of Democrats who say their vote will be in support of the president. Overall, 36% of registered voters say their vote is against Biden while only 24% say it is in favor. If this holds, the midterms will be a referendum on Biden and in part, his failure to pass meaningful parts of his agenda through Congress despite having Democratic control of both chambers.
With Republicans paying greater attention and placing a higher level of importance on control of Congress and motivated by the Biden Administration’s failures, the wind is at the back of the GOP. Republican campaigns must not let up messaging on kitchen table issues and capitalizing on the desire of voters to provide a check and balance on the Biden Administration. Both themes will be key in producing a big win for the GOP in November.