Economic Discontent, Criticisms of Biden Lift GOP to Record Early Advantage: ABC Poll

According to ABC News/Washington Post surveys spanning back 40 years, Republican congressional candidates hold the greatest advantage in midterm election vote preferences.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The GOP advantage underscores “profound challenges for Democrats hoping to retain their slim majorities in Congress next year,” ABC News reports.
  • “While a year is a lifetime in politics, the Democratic Party’s difficulties are deep; they include soaring economic discontent, a president who’s fallen 12 percentage points underwater in job approval and a broad sense that the party is out of touch with the concerns of most Americans — 62% say so.”
  • Just 31% say Biden is keeping most of his major campaign promises.
  • Only 35% think he’s accomplished much overall.
  • “And while most support his spending and policy plans, crosswinds are evident, as 59% worry he’ll do too much to increase the size and role of government, up 6 points since spring.”
  • “Looking to the midterms, 58% of all adults (and 59% of registered voters) are inclined to look around for someone new to vote for,” notes ABC.
  • See ABC’s PDF for full results, charts, and tables.
BIG QUOTE:

“As things stand, if the midterm elections were today, 51% of registered voters say they’d support the Republican candidate in their congressional district, 41% say the Democrat. That’s the biggest lead for Republicans in the 110 ABC/Post polls that have asked this question since November 1981. Indeed, it’s only the second time the GOP has held a statistically significant advantage (the other was +7 points in January 2002) and the ninth time it’s held any numerical edge at all,” according to ABC.

ECONOMY:
  • “With inflation soaring, 70% say the economy is in bad shape, up from 58% last spring.”
  • “While just half blame Biden directly for inflation — its worst in 31 years — his approval for handling the economy overall is down to 39%, off 6 points just since early September and 13 points from last spring.”
BIDEN’S JOB PERFORMANCE:
  • “In terms of Biden’s job performance overall, a new low of 41% approve, while 53% disapprove, highly similar to his rating on the economy.”
  • “Biden’s lost 11 points in approval since spring, accelerating with the coronavirus Delta surge and continuing with inflation.”
COVID-19:
  • “Biden’s rating is…a 47-49% split, approve-disapprove.”
  • “But that is numerically…underwater for the first time, with approval ebbing from 64% in April and 62% in June, both pre-Delta surge.”
APPROVAL RATING:
  • “Biden’s overall approval rating sets or matches career lows among nearly all demographic groups.”