Just a week out from midterm Election Day, I’m tired of horserace polls and ready to see some actual results. Maybe you are, too.
As you know, pretty much all the major polls suggest that Republicans will take over the House, with the race for control of the Senate too close to call.
But I stumbled on a quick analysis, based on a recent CBS poll, that illustrates a powerful point.
A lot of voters say their top issue is the economy, which is quite normal. Rather obviously, with high inflation and Democrats in control of Congress and the White House, those who rate the economy as their top issue are inclined to vote for Republicans.
The economy is always a key issue, but in the aftermath of the recent coup attempt by Trump supporters, CBS asked voters which concerned them more, whether the U.S. will have a “strong economy” or have a “functioning democracy.” (It’s a question, I suspect, that is not asked every cycle but which seems very important in the first election after the Jan. 6, 2021, coup attempt.)
A majority (56%) said a “functioning democracy” was a higher priority than “a strong economy” (44% said a strong economy was their top priority).
And, among those who said the preservation of democracy was their top priority, 63% said they planned to vote for Democrats compared to 29% who planned to vote Republicans.
Among those who said their priority was the economy, 70% planned to vote for Republicans and just 21% for Democrats.
Maybe this is just a fancy way of suggesting that Republicans care more about the economy and Democrats care more about democracy. I dunno. You can only cross-examine a poll result so long. In the absence of poll logic, it would be safe to assume that most Americans care about both the health of our democracy and the health of our economy.
But it’s nonetheless a reminder that, post-Trump and Jan. 6, the survival of our democracy seems to be on the ballot these days to a degree we haven’t seen before in our lifetimes.
A two-minute video of CBS News Elections & Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto analyzing that poll finding is viewable here.