Eight months ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, Republican voters are slightly more likely than Democrats to say they are interested in the contest and that the outcome is important to them. This could be a major advantage this fall, as the Republicans seek to build on a narrow 2-point edge in the generic congressional ballot.
The latest Fox News survey, released Wednesday, finds if the election for Congress were held today, 43% of registered voters would support the Republican candidate vs. 41% for the Democrat.
Republicans have held a 1- to 4- point advantage since December. By comparison, in 2018 the Democrats had the edge in Fox News polls by at least 5 points throughout the election year.
A more ominous sign for the Democrats is that there is an enthusiasm gap. Republican voters are 8 points more likely than Democrats to be extremely interested in the upcoming elections (52% R vs. 44% D) and 7 points more likely to say the outcome is extremely important to them (55% R vs. 48% D).
"The ‘enthusiasm gap’ should shrink by Election Day," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News poll along with Democrat Chris Anderson. "But right now it is a major problem for the Democrats; it is turning a close election contest into a potential Republican landslide."
Among key groups, traditional party advantages hold. However, Democratic support levels are not as high as in 2018. Compared to four years ago, the Democratic candidate is down 13 points among Black voters, 11 points among women, 8 points among voters under age 45, and 7 points among Hispanic voters (March 2018, Fox News poll).
The new poll shows Republicans are ahead among White evangelical Christians (63% support), White men without a college degree (56%), and rural whites (58%), these advantages are more or less consistent with 2018 levels of support.
The good news for the Democrats? There is a long way to go until November, and many voters have not made up their minds. Roughly 1 in 8 voters overall are undecided (12%), including 44% of independents.
Nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
On Wednesday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, completed her third day of confirmation hearings.
The survey, conducted March 18-21 (including the first day of hearings), asked voters whether or not they would confirm Jackson.
A 56% majority would vote to confirm her, the highest of any nominee since the question was first asked on a Fox News poll in 2005. The next closest was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by former President Obama, when 53% said they would vote to confirm her in July 2009.
Those most likely to approve Jackson to sit on the high court are Democrats (87% yes), Black voters (85%), Hispanic voters (70%), urban voters (69%), seniors (61%), and suburban women (60%).
Those less supportive of her nomination are Republicans (28% yes), rural Whites (41%), White evangelical Christians (42%), and White men without a college degree (42%).
Overall, 35% of voters would not confirm her.
Conducted March 18-21, 2022 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,004 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.