by Park MacDougald
Monday, 17
October 2022
Debate
17:30

Abortion won’t save the Democrats

The main issue voters are concerned about is the economy
by Park MacDougald
Mehmet Oz stumps for Trump. Credit: Getty

With midterm elections approaching in November, the Republicans’ edge is growing, according to a new poll from the New York Times/Siena. The GOP is likely to take the House of Representatives and needs to flip only one seat to command a majority in the Senate. 

The headline: 49% of likely voters say they would vote Republican if the election were held today, while only 45% say they would vote Democrat. That represents a nearly 5-percentage-point swing toward the GOP since the last Times/Siena poll in September. Notably, Independents prefer Republicans 51%-41%, and women, who powered Joe Biden’s victory in 2020, are now evenly split between the parties. 

Behind that headline number, however, is another factor that can easily get lost in the churn of the daily news cycle, with its focus on hot-button cultural issues, candidate gaffes and scandals. This election will be fought over the economy and inflation. No other issue comes close in terms of importance to voters. 

When polled on the most important problem facing the country today, 26% of likely voters said “the economy”, while another 18% said “inflation or the cost of living”. Compare that to the other issues that have dominated headlines for the past six months: 8% for the state of democracy, 5% for abortion and immigration, 3% for climate change and crime, 2% for racism and the war in Ukraine, and 1% for guns, education, healthcare, and foreign policy. The Covid-19 pandemic, meanwhile, has virtually disappeared from public consciousness.

This spells trouble for Democrats. Since the Dobbs decision in June, Democratic pundits have hoped (and predicted) that anger over abortion access would drive voters, and especially women voters, to punish Republicans at the polls. The Congressional hearing-cum-TV-show that was the January 6th committee attempted to paint Republicans as would-be putschists who, if elected, would “end democracy as we know it.” Biden himself has repeatedly warned of “ultra-MAGA” extremists and the rising threat of “semi-fascism.”

So far, at least, it appears that voters aren’t buying it. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Incumbents tend to be punished at the midterms, and Biden is a particularly unpopular incumbent at a time when inflation is high and the US economy looks poised to enter a recession. Republicans, the more trusted party when it comes to economics, could still squander their advantage through poor candidate selection. But at a time when many in the media entertain themselves with talk of a new civil war, we can take some comfort in the fact that, for voters, this is gearing up to be a very normal election indeed.

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Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 month ago

It’s probably cliched at this point to quote the Joker from Dark Knight, but he has a point when he says “people are as good as the world allows them to be.” People who are well fed, have housing, have jobs, can afford their health care, and so on can then afford to care about things that make no difference to their everyday lives such as other peoples access to abortions, the sexual orientation of children, wars in foreign countries, or the ultimate fate of polar bears. Democrats spend too much time in rooms filled with journalists, college professors, and the idle rich people who drive most of their agenda. When real concerns come up against their fake outrage, they usually lose elections.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Jolly
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago

Only 18% claim that inflation and cost of living is the most important problem today? Was the poll taken on Martha’s Vineyard?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

I expect the economy answer and the cost of living answer can be combined – so it’s 44%. But, echoing your point, in these times I would have expected the combined answer for these to be well above 60%.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Stewart
Aaron James
Aaron James
1 month ago

Hersel Walker in the Debate for Senate against the Preacher Man incumbent, Warnock –

(paraphrased)

”Shouldn’t you be Baptizing those babies instead of Aborting them?”

haha – stopped him in his tracks……

Srinivasa Sarma
Srinivasa Sarma
1 month ago

The first mistake the present government had done was taking the passport of Mr. Trump, who was the president for a term. You can’t insult the former President by taking his passport. It projects wrongly of the post of President-seat and position.
Everyday the news channels have only two issues to discuss – Ukraine War and Jan 6 committee hearings.
The issue of Abortion should be discussed in proper perspective. The abortion is not an issue of freedom. If the cause of abortion is rape, it is understandable. The rapists should be punished and family value system should be tightened. The loose family moral values have destroyed the families, society and USA.
Being Conservative is not barbaric. Freedom is not a licence to do anything. The Gun violence cannot continue in the name of freedom. The abortion cannot continue in the name of freedom. We should think of building our families, building character, building values. In the name of freedom you cannot rubbish conservative values.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 month ago

If ‘loose family morals’ are the cause of all this pain, how come the very tight family morals of, say, Iran do not lead to a wonderful society? Or maybe the strict family morals of 1930s Germany – etc etc.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Hitler was a vegetarian

Hence vegetarianism caused the Holocaust.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Hitler was a human being. Therefore?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 month ago

“Republicans, the more trusted party when it comes to economics…”
It’s true that they are widely seen that way – but depth research repeated over 7 decades has consistently found it to be…. wrong. But we live in the post-truth era, so whatever.

It’s also true that, whilst Clinton said on winning elections, ‘it’s the economy stupid’, this current recession has little-to-nothing to do with Democrats or Biden. Meanwhile Trump and his GOP supporters are victims of plots and outrageous persecution, and lack the means to fight back, because the deep state – the courts, military, FBI, CIA, NSA, police, civil servants, and politicians (who apparently must be dominated by democrats, even though they aren’t ) ……Again, it’s a post-truth society; the elites are mind-controlling scum; helped by a monolithic MSM (tho little ‘Davids’ such as Fox and the Daily Mail valliantly sling their stones), and financed by foreign financial cabals who hate our freedom, so…. whatever.