As voters head to the polls on Tuesday, they are more concerned with domestic issues such as the economy rather than fears over the Ebola virus or Islamic State (ISIS) terrorism, according to an NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll
Republicans are expected to gain seats in the House and Senate and likely take control of the Senate, and the poll shows voters most trust the GOP to handle not only foreign threats, but also their biggest concern – the economy.
Republicans hold a nine-point lead in dealing with the economy, the poll found, ahead of Democrats 39 percent-30 percent. They hold a 22-percent lead on dealing with ISIS, 39 percent to 17 percent.
Republicans are up on Democrats by only two points on changing how things work in Washington and one point on Ebola.
The poll found that by a margin of 4-1, domestic issues trump outside concerns. Voters focusing on domestic issues also are worried about health care, Medicare and Social Security, the poll showed.
"It’s not ISIS, it’s not Ebola," Democratic pollster Peter Hart told NBC News
. Hart conducted the poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.
But those who are concerned about international issues tend to vote Republican, the poll found. They tend to be core members of the GOP base, McInturff said.
The one-fourth of voters who think Ebola, ISIS and recent actions by Russia need to be addressed want a GOP Congress taking care of things. Such voters prefer a Republican-led Congress 63 percent to 29 percent.
Those focused on domestic issues want a Congress controlled by Democrats by a margin of 52 percent to 40 percent.
Though President Barack Obama's approval rating is at a record low of 42 percent, neither Democratic nor Republican voters attributed their feelings for the president to how they'll cast their ballot.
Forty-five percent of those who want a GOP-controlled Congress say they will be casting a positive vote for Republicans, 25 percent say they will be protesting Obama, and 19 percent say they are protesting congressional Democrats.
On the others side, 41 percent of Democratic voters say they are casting a positive vote for the Democrats, 27 percent say they are protesting Republicans, and 26 percent say it is a positive vote for Obama.
But a huge majority want to see Obama change the direction in which he is leading the country. Sixty-seven percent want to see either a great deal or quite a bit of change, while 23 percent want just some change. Only 8 percent want not much change, while the percent wanting no change didn't even register on the poll.
Forty-five percent have a negative view of Obama, while 43 percent have a positive view. The Democratic Party has 36 percent positive to 43 percent negative rating, and the Republican Party has a 29 percent positive to 47 percent negative rating.
The tea party wing of the Republican Party has a far more negative view, 20 percent seeing them in a positive light and 42 percent seeing them negatively.
Democrats are viewed as stronger on Social Security by 12 points, health care by seven points and keeping American jobs from going to other countries by four points.
The poll was conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 1, and talked to 1,200 registered voters. It has a a margin of error of plus-minus 2.8 percentage points overall.
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