Inflation and cost of living were the top national issues, and they were national. Governors of both parties were popular and did well promoting their own economic progress and policies. But voters did expect candidates for the House and Senate to address the spiking inflation and cost of living. They left them feeling angry and dissatisfied.
In our polls, Democrats and Republicans started at near parity on which party was better on handling the cost of living, but that advantage slipped to 7-points, 6 in this Election poll. It is the top priority for those who voted Democratic, and yet no economic reason factored in their vote this year. Indeed, again. It is hard not to say, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Failure of national Democrats to address the economy meant rural areas and white working class communities were a political wasteland. But cost of living was also the top issue for Democrats, Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters. Turnout was down for Blacks and Hispanics and Democratic support for Asian American voters.
Crime was a top issue for many Democratic base voters, and a quarter of Blacks and half of Blacks, Hispanics and Asians voters trusted Republicans, more than Democrats to address the issue. That could have impacted turnout and Democrats’ future prospects. With Democrats trailing Republicans by 10 points on crime and 16 points on who would be “much better,” Democrats have a lot of work.
This poll shows the continuing risk of a Republican challenge centered on borders and crime. Trump may have been weakened in this election, but another leader with that message poises an accelerated risk. Democrats have to address the border issue, too.