Could the GOP “Screw Up a Sure Thing?”

Ahead of the midterms in November: Americans are on edge with inflation raging, gun violence surging and a string of major Supreme Court decisions setting a new policy agenda. So which party has the edge?

What our partisans are saying:

  • On the left, FGS Global Managing Director Colleen Bell (D): “Democrats could win in November by focusing on issues that are top of mind for voters: the economy, gas prices, choice issues and staving off going into a recession before the elections. Republicans could do well in the election by focusing on the failures of the Biden Administration on a whole host of fronts. Because Democrats control two of the three branches of power, any voter dissatisfaction can be pinned on their governance.”
  • On the right, FGS Global Managing Director Gina Foote (R): “It’s not complicated: The president’s approval rating is low, most of the country is unsatisfied with the way things are going, and it’s a midterm election. If history is our guide, November 8 should be a very good night for Republicans. But never underestimate the ability of a political party to screw up a sure thing.”

The nitty-gritty:

  • 77% of Americans say things in the U.S. are on the wrong track (+23 from January 2021). Republicans only need to gain one seat in the Senate and eight in the House to control Congress.
  • The generic ballot favors Republicans by a small margin. Republicans enjoy big advantages in lean/likely and toss up races, and Democrats are retiring in higher numbers (31 to 18), though most are in safe seats.
  • The midterms are certain to impact abortion access, but it’s unclear how abortion access will impact the midterms. All eyes will be on the crucial voting bloc of suburban moms—and whether Gen Z comes out for or against a Democratic Party they don’t feel has made progress on the issues they care about.
  • The economy is driving the conversation with Republicans and Independents, but climate change, health care and civil rights top the list for Democrats.
  • A majority of voters disapprove of Biden’s performance on issues that cause the most voter anxiety: immigration, guns, abortion and jobs and the economy.