America Divided on Eve of Midterms – Vote for Congress: Dem 46% v. Rep 44%; 2024 Rematch – Biden 45% v. Trump 42%

The New York Times / Siena College National Poll:

  • Biden Job Approval & Favorability Up Significantly from July; Remain Underwater
  • Voters Oppose SCOTUS’ Dobbs Decision Overturning Roe v Wade 62-30%; Favor Republicans Over Democrats 52-38% on Economy; Semi-Automatic Weapons Ban Opposed 49-46%; Reps Favored 47-43% on Gun Policy
  • Majority of Americans – Though Not Republicans – Continue to Say Trump Threatened Democracy & Has Committed Serious Federal Crimes

Press Release     Crosstabs     Hispanic/Latino Crosstabs     New York Times Opinion Article

Loudonville, NY. By a narrow margin, voters say they are more likely to vote for a Democrat for Congress (46%) than vote for a Republican (44%). Looking ahead two years, 45% say would vote for President Joe Biden, while 42% would support former President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times/Siena College poll of registered voters released today. Biden’s job approval and favorability ratings are both up significantly, 16 and 15 points respectively – Trump’s favorability rating is up eight points – but remains underwater.

Voters oppose the SCOTUS’ Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade 62-30%. Similarly, 62% say abortion should be always or mostly legal and 31% say it should be mostly or always illegal. When it comes to the economy, by 52-38%, voters say they agree more with Republicans rather than Democrats. By a narrow 49-46% margin, voters oppose a semi-automatic weapon ban, and by a similar 47-43% margin, voters say they agree more with Republicans than Democrats on gun policy.

“Seven weeks till the midterms, and America remains a country whose voters are deeply and closely divided ona wide range of issues and potential elections. Looking at the race for control of Congress, 95% of Democrats plan to vote for the Democrat, 96% of Republicans plan to vote for the Republican, and independents are closely divided, tilting toward the Republicans 41-40%,” said Dr. Don Levy, Director, Siena College Research Institute.

“While men plan to vote Republican for congress by nine points, women favor Democratic candidates by 13 points,” Levy said. “Democrats have an overwhelming lead with Black voters and the support of a majority of Latinos and white voters with a college degree. Whites without a college degree favor Republicans 61-29%.”

“Looking ahead two years and the possibility of a 2020 presidential rematch, Biden holds a narrow 45-42% lead over Trump, a three-point edge, similar to Biden’s popular vote advantage in 2020,” Levy said. “Again, better than 90% of Democrats and Republicans stick with their party’s candidate, and independents are tied at 38% for each. Trump has solid leads with men and whites without a college degree, while Biden has similar or larger leads with women, whites with a college degree, Blacks, and Latinos.”

Biden has a 41-53% job approval rating, up from 33-60% in July. His favorability rating is 47-51%, up from 39-58% in July. Trump’s favorability rating is 43-53%, up from 39-57% in July.

“Biden’s favorability rating is up net 15 points since July, largely because of women, Democrats and independents,” Levy said. “The increase in his favorability rating is from big gains with women and independents. Trump’s rise in favorability was from Republicans.

“While Biden has seen significant improvement in his job approval and favorability ratings, he remains underwater on both, although getting close to breakeven on favorability. It’s hard for Biden to move into positive territory when Republicans disapprove of the job that he’s doing and view him unfavorably in even bigger numbers than Democrats approve and view him favorably,” Levy said.

By 2-to-1, Voters Oppose SCOTUS Dobbs Ruling and Want Abortion to Be Always/Mostly Legal

“Voters oppose the Supreme Court Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade 62-30%. The decision is opposed by a majority of virtually every demographic – by gender, region, age, race, education – with the exception of Republicans, who support the decision to end the constitutional right to abortion 57-34%,” Levy said. “Similarly, a clear to overwhelming majority of every demographic group – with the exception of Republicans – says that abortion should be always or mostly legal, rather than always or mostly illegal. While that sentiment remains strong among all voters, 62-31%, it is down a little from July when it was 65-26%.”

Majority of Voters Say they Agree More with Republicans Economy

“While 85% of Democrats agree more with their party on the economy, 97% or Republicans and 55% of
independents say they agree more with Republicans on the economy,” Levy said. “White voters agree with Republicans two-to-one, Black voters agree with Democrats six-to-one, and Latinos are narrowly divided.”

“Republicans may also be buoyed by voters saying 49-31% that economic issues are more important in determining their vote for Congress this year than are social issues,” Levy said. “While a plurality of Democrats say social issues are more important, a majority of Republicans and independents say they’ll focus on economic issues.”

Narrow Plurality Opposes Semi-Automatic Weapon Ban & Plurality Agrees More with Reps on Guns

“While closely divided on whether or not to ban semiautomatic weapons, 49%, a plurality, say no, backed by more than two-thirds of Republicans and a majority of independents. By 15 points, men oppose the ban and by 12 points, women support it. White and Latino voters are closely divided, while Black voters support the ban,” Levy said. “When it comes to which party they agree more with on gun policy, independents side with Republicans, as do men, while women agree more with Democrats, although by a smaller margin.”

Majority Continues to Say Trump Threatened Democracy & Committed Serious Federal Crimes

A majority of voters, 54%, say Trump threatened American democracy through his actions following the 2020 elections, compared to 38% who say he was just exercising his right to contest the election, virtually unchanged from July when it was 55-39%. By 51-38% — up a little from 49-40% in July – voters say Trump has committed serious federal crimes.

“While a strong majority of Republicans say Trump was exercising his right to contest the election and that he did not commit serious crimes, Democrats overwhelmingly say the opposite and a majority of independents agree with the Democrats,” Levy said. “Overwhelming majorities of Black and Latino voters say Trump has committed serious federal crimes, however, white voters are closely divided.”

Odds & Ends from Siena College Poll Director Dr. Don Levy:

  • While voters still say the country is headed in the wrong direction, 60-27%, that’s a significant improvement from 77-13% in July. Democrats improved by 52 points and 50% of Democrats now say the country is on the right track. Independents improved by 41 points but by two-to-one, still say the country is headed in the wrong direction. Republicans stayed deeply unhappy about the direction of the country, going from 89% saying it’s headed in the wrong direction in July, to 92% today.
  • Is America a racist country? Nearly half of voters, 49%, say yes, compared to 44% who say no. More than three-quarters of Black voters and 55% of Latino voters say yes, while white voters are closely divided, with 47% saying no and 45% saying yes. Two-thirds of Democrats say yes, nearly two-thirds of Republicans say no and independents are virtually evenly divided.
  • Voters have a favorable view of both the Black Lives Matter movement (54-37%) and the Blue Lives Matter movement (56-24%). Democrats and independents view Black Lives Matter strongly favorably, while Republicans view it strongly unfavorably. Republicans and independents view Blue Lives Matter strongly favorably, while a plurality of Democrats also views it favorably.
  • Do voters think they live in the greatest country in the world? Nearly half, 49%, do, including strong majorities of Republicans, men, voters over 45, and whites. Another 42% say America is a great country but not the greatest, including a majority of Democrats, Black voters and voters under 45.
  • By 61-30%, voters think gender is determined by a person’s biological sex at birth, as opposed to an identity that is distinct from a person’s biological sex. Classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity? No in elementary school, 70-27%. No in middle school, 54-44%. Yes in high school 56-42%. Younger voters are more likely to support classroom instruction in each of the schools.
  • Among a substantial national oversample of Latinos (n=522), the survey finds them evenly split on Biden’s job performance 48-46% and split 43-41% between agreeing with Democrats or Republicans on the economy but preferring Democrats over Republicans for Congress this year, 56-32%.

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This New York Times/Siena College survey of 1,399 registered voters nationwide was conducted in English and Spanish on landline and cellular telephones from September 6-14, 2022. The survey is a response rate adjusted stratified sample of active registered voters on the L2 voter file. The survey was fielded by the Siena College Research Institute with support from ReconMR, IPOR (Roanoke College) and PORL (University of North Florida). Overall, 76% of respondents were reached on cellular telephones including 87% the Latino respondents. The survey’s margin of error due to sampling is +/- 3.6%. It accounts for the survey’s design effect of 1.93, a measure of the loss of statistical power due to weighting. The survey includes an oversampling of 522 self-identified Latino voters. The margin of error for the Latino oversample is +/- 6.0%. A more extensive description of sampling parameters and weighting can be found here. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, please contact Don Levy at 518-783-2901. Survey cross-tabulations and frequencies can be found at: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.

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