Are Republicans falling into an overconfidence trap?
A recent Daily Wire article discussing a poll conducted by Morning Consult/Politico indicated that Republicans are leading Democrats by "double digits" on inflation, the economy, and national security.
As presented in the Daily Wire article, "46% of voters said they trusted the Republican Party to handle the issue of inflation, compared to just 32% of voters who said they trusted Democrats, a 14-point margin[.]"
The piece continued, "Voters also trusted Republicans to handle national security and the economy by double-digit margins: 48% of voters said they trusted the GOP on national security, compared to 35% who trusted Democrats[.]"
At first look, these data points present a positive outlook to conservatives for the coming midterm elections, but these data are misleading. It appears that the authors of the article looked at only the top lines of a couple of pages of the 434-page poll. For example, the poll also asked, if they were to vote today, which candidates they would most likely choose. The responses are telling.
What the article and other news outlets leave out is that, overall, 42% of the respondents said they would vote for Democrats, 41% chose Republicans, and 17% indicated they didn't know. This means that all things considered, the voters are evenly split — just as they were in 2020. White respondents chose Democrats at 36% and Republicans at 49%, but Black respondents chose Democrats at 71% versus 5% GOP. Twenty-four percent of black respondents didn't know which one they would choose.
This means that Republicans have obviously done a poor job of reaching out to Black voters and effectively explaining why the Democrats' policies are not helping them. Instead, it appears that the Republicans are simply counting on Joe Biden's mistakes to lead to a huge GOP victory in the midterms.
When asked which party they believe could best handle the economy and jobs issues, the moderates consistently leaned more Democrat than Republican. These respondents indicated that they trusted the Democrats (41%) over the Republicans (36%) to handle the economy. They trusted Democrats (49%) over the Republicans (30%) regarding jobs. Blacks chose the Democrats at 59% versus the GOP at 17%, and Hispanics chose the Democrats at 48% versus the GOP at 28%. It is worth noting that when Moderates were asked what party they identified with, 13% said GOP and 43% said Democrat.
"Economic issues — like taxes, wages, jobs, unemployment, and spending" were consistently the most important issue to the respondents, and it is clear that the same moderates and other groups feel that the Democrat party is the best choice.
This leads me to conclude that Republicans must get a much better message out to Democrat moderates and Black and Hispanic voters if they are going to achieve the success they expect in the midterms. We've already seen that in elections and war, overconfidence can lead to some pretty shocking outcomes.