About half of Americans say the economy or inflation is the most important issue in their vote for Congress, making portfolio issues by far the most dominant as the midterm elections approach. according to a new ABC News/Ipsos Poll.
Taken individually, 26% identify the economy as their most important issue determining their vote while 23% cite inflation. Nearly three in four Republicans identify the two economic concerns as a priority, compared to just 29% of Democrats according to the ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel.
Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to say abortion, gun violence and climate change are the top reasons for their vote, the poll found.
Importantly, the independents closely mirror the national numbers, with 49% having the combination of inflation and the economy above all others.
The two main reasons for choosing to vote vary little by race and ethnicity. When it comes to the economy and inflation, 45% of Black Americans and 47% of Hispanic Americans prioritize the pair of issues, essentially the same as the general public.
But there is a significant difference by race and ethnicity on an issue that is on the Democratic agenda: gun violence. Although only 4% of white Americans name gun violence as the most important issue in their vote for Congress, 15% of Hispanic Americans and 17% of black Americans list it as theirs.
This duo of issues — economy and inflation — are far more likely to push voters toward Republicans, who have hammered President Joe Biden and his administration for higher prices at the pump and grocery store for months. But Democrats have also hoped that a recent Supreme Court decision granting access to more difficult abortion services – and in some cases non-existent – will result in participation in their favour.
Data from the new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that about 6 in 10 Americans (61%) think abortion should be legal in all or most cases compared to just 37% who think it should be illegal. The public has a clear preference for supporting candidates who align themselves with this view with a large majority saying they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors keeping abortion legal and available.
But access to abortion, while galvanizing for some, is less likely to be the top motivation for the one in five Americans who say the issue makes no difference in their voting decision, with that indifference even more high among independents.
Indifference persists when Americans are asked about party control on Pennsylvania Avenue versus Capitol Hill. Half the country says it doesn’t matter whether the same party or opposing parties control Congress and the White House. Only 19% think it is better for the country to have a president from one political party and a Congress controlled by the other.
Just under a third would prefer the same party to control both branches of government, but that number is driven by 47% of Democrats who overwhelmingly want their party to control both. Even more independents, 55%, say it makes no difference.
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted using Ipsos Public Affairs’ KnowledgePanel® on October 28-29, 2022, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 729 adults with oversamples of Black respondents and Hispanics weighted according to their correct proportions in the general population. The results have a margin of sampling error of 3.9 points, including the design effect. The partisan divisions are 28-24-41%, Democrat-Republican-Independent. View key survey results and methodology details here.
ABC News’ Dan Merkle and Ken Goldstein contributed to this report.