With the 2022 midterms approaching in less than a year, one question looms above all others: can Republicans take advantage of President Biden's struggles and retake the House and Senate? Democrats hold a thin majority in each chamber, and Biden's record so far includes a raging pandemic, failed domestic agenda, threat of a recession, surging inflation, and struggles on the international front with Russia and China.
Our polling suggests that Republicans are not in the clear just yet. When we asked likely voters which party's candidate they intended to vote for both Democrat and Republican choices received 43%; other/minor party received 6%, and 9% were not sure/will not vote. Thus, Democrats' failures alone do not guarantee victory.
When we examined demographic pockets where each party held advantages, there were no big surprises. The groups who intended to vote the Republican Congressional candidate were men (46% Republican/42% Democrat), voters over 50 (50% Republican/38% Democrat) and especially voters age 65+(-52%/37%), non-college educated voters (46% Republican/38% Democrat), small city voters (54% Republican/30% Democrat), suburban voters (49% Republican/33% Democrat), rural voters (57% Republican/30% Democrat), White voters (51% Republican/37% Democrat), and Baby Boomers (52% Republican/37% Democrat).
The voters who intended to vote for the Democrats were voters aged 50 or under (36% Republican/Democrat 47%) and especially voters aged 18-24-(27%/50%) and 18-29-(33%/43%); women (40% Republican/Democrat 43%), college educated voters (39% Republican/Democrat 49%), large city voters (24% Republican/Democrat 66%), Generation Z (27% Republican/Democrat 50%), and Millennials (38% Republican/Democrat 47%).
Regionally, there were no surprises, either. Voters in the East (36% Republican/Democrat 51%) and West (39% Republican/Democrat 46%) intended to vote for the Democratic candidate, while voters in the Central/Great Lakes (34% Republican/Democrat 49%) and South (42% Republican/Democrat 45%) intended to vote for the Republican candidate.
Where things got interesting is when we examined swing voters and some unique demographics related to Covid-19. For instance, working/middle class voters whose annual household income is $25K-$75K (49% Republican/37% Democrat) intended to vote for the Republican candidate while middle/upper class voters whose annual household income is $75K+ (47% Republican/54% Democrat) intended to vote for the Democratic candidate.
Traditional swing voters such as Independents (31% Republican/22% Democrat), suburban females (42% Republican/37% Democrat), and voters aged 25-34 (44% Republican/40% Democrat), intended to vote Republican in next year's Congressional election.
On the other hand, moderates (47% Democrat/28% Republican), urban men (52% Democrat/38% Republican) and urban women (53% Democrat/32% Republican), and union voters (55% Democrat/35% Republican) intended to vote Democratic in next year's Congressional election.
Finally, there was a clear line drawn in the sand between vaccinated and unvaccinated voters, those who wear masks and those who do not, those who are terrified of Covid-19 versus those who aren't, and those who view politics as religion and those who don't consider it a very important part of their lives. Thus, voters who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (47% Democrat/40% Republican), wear a mask all/most of the time (57% Democrat/31% Republican) and who are scared about Covid-19 (61% Democrat/30% Republican) intended to vote for the Democratic candidate while those who aren't vaccinated (52% Republican/29% Democrat), never wear a mask (74% Republican/9% Democrat) and those who don't fear Covid-19 (70% Republican/10% Democrat) intended to vote for the Republican candidate in the next year's Congressional election.
The deciding factor in who retains or gains power in each chamber may come down to their base's enthusiasm. We measured which party had more enthusiastic voters heading into next year's midterms. When we examine all voters surveyed, among those who say they will vote for Republicans, 50% are 'very enthusiastic' about voting in next year's Congressional election, while of the voters who say they intend to vote Democratic, 43% are 'very enthusiastic'. Enthusiasm might be the key to who takes both chambers next year, but it will also come down to turnout where off years favor Republicans. Right now, Republicans hold a slight advantage but it's not game, set, match just yet. If Democrats do come together and pass the Build Back Better Act, they might be able to make the case to the public they improved lives and can do more! Could one senator from West Virginia be the key to which party holds power in Congress next year? Hold on tight, it's going to be an entertaining eleven months.
Overall, nearly half of voters were enthusiastic about voting in next year's Congressional midterm elections, while more than a third (37%) were somewhat enthusiastic and 14% were not enthusiastic. Men (59% very enthusiastic) were more likely to be 'very enthusiastic' than women (40% very enthusiastic) and older voters aged 65+ (58% very enthusiastic) were more likely to be 'very enthusiastic' than younger voters aged 18-29 (40% very enthusiastic). Both are clear advantages for Republicans.
More college educated voters (55% very enthusiastic) than non-college educated voters (45% very enthusiastic) were 'very enthusiastic,' while African Americans (51% very enthusiastic) and Hispanics (54% very enthusiastic) were more likely to be 'very enthusiastic' than White voters (49% very enthusiastic). When it came to party, Republicans (57% very enthusiastic) held a small advantage over Democrats (53% very enthusiastic) in intensity as the GOP had more voters express the highest level of enthusiasm but Democrats had an overall enthusiasm edge 92% (very enthusiastic' and 'somewhat enthusiastic' combined) over 87% among Republicans.
Generationally, Millennials (52% very enthusiastic) and Baby Boomers (55% very enthusiastic) were the most likely to be 'very enthusiastic', while Gen Xers (44% very enthusiastic) and Generation Z (33% very enthusiastic) were less so.
Where voters lived also mattered: urban voters (56% very enthusiastic) were much more likely to be enthusiastic than suburban (46% very enthusiastic) and rural voters (46% very enthusiastic), while the trend continued with large city voters (59% very enthusiastic), urban men (62% very enthusiastic), and urban women (43% very enthusiastic) being more likely to say they were 'very enthusiastic' compared to their counterparts-small city voters (48% very enthusiastic), suburban women (34% very enthusiastic), and suburban men (55% very enthusiastic).
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
12/21/21 - 12/22/21
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 1311 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1311 is +/- 2.7 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.