Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats on the generic ballot in battleground states for the first time this election cycle, based on internal polling by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The NRCC sent a memo Tuesday to "interested parties" noting four main items from a battleground congressional district survey. The key takeaways were:
- Across 85 battleground districts, Republicans lead on the generic ballot 43%-40%. That is a 6% positive swing from the start of this cycle.
- President Joe Biden's job approval has gone from 51%-45% approve/disapprove in July to 45%-51% now. Independents are the main reason for the flip as 54% disapproves of his performance and just 39% approves.
- When asked to select the most important issues, voters' top answers are jobs and the economy (16%), border security (15%), and inflation/cost of living (12%) – topics on which the GOP normally has an advantage among voters.
- A solid majority (59%) of battleground voters says government is doing too many things, and just 35% says government should do more. Voters who believe Democrats' progressive agenda will raise their own taxes has grown from 51% in July to 57% now, and 66% says the Democrats' proposed spending will increase their own cost of living.
The NRCC polling also found Republicans are leading Democrats among independent voters (35%-27%) and college-educated white voters (44%-41%).
Groups that were pivotal in Biden winning the election have soured on him. He is a minus-5% among Hispanics and minus-3% among college-educated white voters.
The findings also say a majority (53%) of voters – including 62% of independents – do not believe Biden is competent.
A total of 58% believe the "defund the police movement" has caused an increase in crime.
Politico reported that NRCC operatives were presenting the polling results to the Republican conference during a strategy meeting.
The results were eye-catching because, as Politico noted, Democrats tend to have an edge on the generic ballot even in unfavorable cycles.
The NRCC battleground districts poll was conducted in Oct. 16-21 among 1,000 voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
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