When the registered voters were asked who they would vote for if the election was held today, 47 percent said they would vote for the Republican to represent their district, while a slightly less 46 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. There was also three percent who said other or neither candidate, and four percent said no opinion.
Additionally, when the respondents asked who they would rather see in control of Congress, 48 percent said they want the Republicans in power, while only 45 said the Democrats. There were also six percent who said no opinion. However, in a model survey where the respondents are likely voters this question, 51 percent said they prefer Republicans while only 46 percent preferred Democrats.
Furthermore, the poll found that in congressional districts rated as at least somewhat competitive by ABC’s FiveThirtyEight — meaning the race could sway to either the Republican or Democrat — registered voters significantly favored the GOP candidates by a wide margin. In those districts, 55 percent of the registered voters said they would vote for the Republican while only 34 percent said the Democrat, meaning there is a 24 percent margin.
When the respondents were asked what is the most important issue going into voting for Congress this year, the economy was at the top of the table, while abortion and climate change were near the bottom:
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The economy: 84 percent important/15 percent not as important
Education and schools: 77 percent important/22 percent not as important
Inflation: 76 percent important/22 percent not as important
Crime: 69 percent important/30 percent not as important
Abortion: 62 percent important/35 percent not as important
Immigration: 61 percent important/36 percent not as important
Climate change: 50 percent important/48 percent not as important
The poll also found that President Joe Biden has continued his low approval ratings, as he sits at 39 percent, with 53 percent disapproving. Additionally, only 35 percent of the Democrats and the Democrat-leaning independents want Biden to be their 2024 nominee, while 56 percent want the party to pick someone else.
However, with the president’s approval still underwater and the midterm elections typically being a referendum on how the president is doing, the pollsters acknowledged that the Democrats are in trouble. The polling memo noted that in the midterm elections since 1946, when the president has over a 50 percent approval rating, his party has lost an average of 14 seats. But when the approval is under 50 percent — which is where Biden currently is — the party loses an average of 37 seats.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted from September 18 to 21 by Langer Research Associates in English and Spanish among 1,006 adults, including 908 registered voters. Overall there was a 3.5 percent margin of error.
The poll also shared that the respondents were 28 percent Democrat, 24 percent Republican, and 41 percent independent. With the registered voters, the partisan divide was 27 percent Democrat, 26 percent Republican, and 40 percent independent.