The economy and jobs, health care, and gun policy are all top issues for voters in the upcoming midterm elections. But the biggest factor in how Americans are planning to vote for Congress comes from a candidate’s support for or opposition to President Donald Trump, a new Kaiser Health tracking poll found.
Given a list of several issues — gun policy, the economy, health care, immigration, the federal budget deficit, climate change, foreign policy, and tax reform — nearly four in ten voters surveyed said none of these issues are most important for candidates to address in their campaigns. Instead, the two most important factors a candidate for Congress must speak to in 2018 are their own character and experience and their support for Trump.
“When national issues are put up against these other voting factors, majorities of Republican and Democratic voters say ‘a candidate’s support or opposition to President Trump’ or the ‘candidate’s character and experience’ will make the biggest difference in how they vote for Congress,” Kaiser found.
“Nearly one-third of Republican voters (32 percent) and three in ten Democratic voters say a candidate’s support for or opposition to President Trump will make the biggest difference in their congressional vote choice. Smaller shares – about one five – say either ‘specific national issues’ or ‘local or state issues’ will make the biggest difference. Independent voters are less likely than partisan voters to say a candidate’s support for or opposition to President Trump will make the biggest difference (17 percent).”
When asked what is the most important issue for candidates to talk about, 23 percent of registered voters said the economy and jobs, 22 percent said health care, and 22 percent said gun policy.
On the question of voter enthusiasm, Democrats have the advantage. Among registered voters, 45 percent of Democrats said they felt more enthusiastic about voting this year compared to 31 percent of independents and 30 percent of Republicans. Among Democrats, the reason they are enthusiastic to vote is a “desire for change,” 22 percent said, with the next most important reasons being to vote against Trump (13 percent) and retake control of Congress (13 percent).
Among registered Republican voters who said they are feeling enthusiastic to vote, the number one reason was supporting Trump (20 percent), followed by keeping control of Congress (15 percent).
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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