71% say future of US at stake in this year’s elections: poll

Elections 2022
Kathie Hoekstra

Kathie Hoekstra arrives to vote in Alexandria, Va., Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. In-person voting for the midterm elections has started in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming, in a landscape that has changed since the pandemic drove a shift to mail balloting in the 2020 presidential contest. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(NEXSTAR) — About 71 percent of registered voters believe the midterm elections will have a significant impact on the country’s future, according to a new Associated Press-NORC poll.

Most registered voters suggested they also consider voting in the upcoming midterm elections important, with 84 percent characterizing their vote as extremely or very important. Just 3 percent said voting in November is not at all or not very important.

Despite the perception that this year’s midterms will have mass repercussions on the country, far fewer said the elections will significantly impact them personally.

Forty-three percent of registered voters in the poll indicated the elections will have a great deal or quite a bit of impact on them personally. That figure included 47 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of Democrats and only a third of independents.

With inflation and abortion consistently polling as prominent issues in this year’s campaign, voters see the outcome of the midterm elections as impacting both the economy and abortion policy.

More than 6 in 10 registered voters — 63 percent — suggested the elections will have a great deal or quite a bit of an impact on the economy, with Republicans more likely to say so.

Annual inflation has declined from earlier this year, when it reached roughly 40-year highs, but the most recent data exceeded expectations as price gains stubbornly persist.

The Labor Department’s consumer price index, a weighted market basket of household goods and services, rose 0.4 percent in September and 8.2 percent over the past 12 months.

The poll’s overall respondent group — which included some nonregistered voters — indicated a pessimistic view toward the state of the economy, with 63 percent indicating they disapprove of how President Biden is handling the economy while 36 percent indicated approval.

Republicans are looking to hone in on inflation as they hope to flip Democrats’ razor-thin majorities, also emphasizing issues like crime and border security.

But after the Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections in June, liberals have seen glimmers of hope, hoping to transfer their party’s anger into electoral success.

About 62 percent of registered voters polled said the elections will significantly impact abortion policy, including 77 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of independents and 47 percent of Republicans.

Election analysts suggest Democrats’ chances of holding both the House and the Senate improved after the Supreme Court’s ruling, which also coincided with declining gas prices and inflation.

But since Labor Day, those improvements appear to have stalled. Multiple Republican candidates, including Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Pennsylvania Senate nominee Mehmet Oz, have seen gains in their polling in recent weeks.

The AP-NORC poll was conducted between Oct. 6 and Oct. 10 with 1,121 respondents, including 961 registered voters. The margin of error was 3.8 percent for questions that included all respondents and 4.1 percent for those that just polled the registered voters.

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