Economic concerns and “intense” disapproval of President Biden are giving Republicans an edge with independent voters in the upcoming election, according to recent polling from The New York Times.
A NYT/Siena College poll found independent female voters in particular swung dramatically to the right in the past month, despite Democrats’ focus on abortion rights.
“In September, they favored Democrats by 14 points. Now, independent women backed Republicans by 18 points— a striking swing given the polarization of the American electorate and how intensely Democrats have focused on that group and on the threat Republicans pose to abortion rights,” the paper reported.
The Times noted that was because the economy was “a far more potent political issue in 2022 than abortion,” and a majority of voters trusted Republicans to handle it.
Reinforcing this point, the Times talked to Democrat women who were voting Republican this fall. Mortgage loan officer Robin Ackerman, 37, said she was switching because she felt the GOP was “more geared towards business.”
Despite strongly disagreeing with the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, she said it wasn’t going to influence her vote.
“But that doesn’t really have a lot to do with my decision… I’m more worried about other things,” she told the outlet.
Another Democrat, Gerard Lamoureux, is also looking to the GOP to solve her concerns about rising prices.
“It’s all about cost,” the 51-year-old Democratic retiree in Newtown, Conn., told the paper. She added, “The price of gas and groceries are through the roof. And I want to eat healthy, but it’s cheaper for me to go to McDonald’s and get a little meal than it is to cook dinner.”
President Biden’s strong disapproval ratings are also having an impact on Democrats’ chances, driving voters to Republican candidates.
“Democrats are approaching this one [midterm election] saddled with a president who has a disapproval rating of 58 percent, including 63 percent of independent voters…The added challenge for Democrats is the intensity of the electorate’s displeasure with the president: The poll showed that 45 percent of likely voters strongly disapproved of the job that Mr. Biden was doing, and 90 percent of those voters planned to back a Republican for Congress this fall,” the analysis found.
While Democrats have tried to make abortion the focus this election, inflation ranks the number one concern for 59% of voters, according to a Fox News poll conducted in September.
Other polls indicate more Americans trust the GOP to handle economic issues better than Democrats.