With less than two weeks to go until election day, the national political environment has turned to be primarily concerned with the economy, rather than abortion, The Guardian reports.
Over the summer, many election forecasters wondered if Democrats could avoid the widespread losses typically seen by the president’s party in the midterms.
But Democrats’ hopes of defying political history and keeping their narrow majorities in the House and Senate appear to be fading with the turning of the tide of which issue is of biggest concern. Many of the Democratic candidates have had to go on the defensive in the final days of campaigning.
Voters over the summer expressed mass outrage over the supreme court’s decision to end federal protections for abortion access.
With gas prices falling then, Democrats had been hopeful that their endangered incumbents could win reelection.
In August, the Democrats took the lead on the generic congressional ballot, and held onto this lead up until last week.
The tide now seems to have moved in Republicans’ favor, and Democrats are running out time to U-turn it again.
Gas prices started to rise again this month, although they have since started to moderate. With inflation at near record levels, the share of voters who name the economy as their top priority has increased since the summer.
A poll taken this month by the New York Times/Siena College found that 44 percent of likely voters say economic concerns are the most important problem facing the country. This is a quick increase from 36 percent who said the same in July.
Just 5 percent of likely voters identified abortion as the most important issue right now.
Voters’ renewed focus on inflation and gas prices could hurt Democrats’ chances in some key congressional races, given that Republicans consistently score better on surveys asking which party is better equipped to manage the economy.