42% of Likely Voters Plan to Vote Democratic, 41% say Republican, This November


The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds an Democrats and Republicans essentially tied on the generic House ballot. Among likely voters, 42 percent say they plan to vote Democratic while 41 percent say Republican. Likely voters are those who are registered and say they are certain or very likely to vote in the midterms.

One of the reasons for the tight ballot is that Republicans are more motivated to vote this November than Democrats or Independents. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, 89 percent are registered and say they are certain or very likely to vote, compared to 67 percent of Democrats. Fifty-nine percent of independents are registered and likely to vote.

When likely voters are offered the choice of which party they would prefer control Congress, 34 percent opt for "neither" party, 33 percent say Republicans, and 29 percent say Democrats. Part of the reason for this Republican edge is that even though 54 percent of non-partisan independents would rather "neither" party control Congress, more prefer Republican to Democratic control—26 to 12 percent, respectively.

Offering the choice for voters to say they prefer "neither" party control Congress provides important nuance to their congressional ballot choices. For instance, at first glance 56 percent of 18-29 year olds say they'll vote Democratic and 36 percent will vote Republican. However, their Democratic support is tenuous with only 30 percent favoring Democratic control of Congress, 28 percent favoring Republican control, and fully 41 percent saying neither party should control Congress. These results echo earlier findings showing that millennials view Democrats as the better of two bad options. (Additional  examples can be found in the crosstabs).

Nearly four out of 10 likely voters, 39 percent, say the economy is the number one issue influencing how they'll vote in the November elections. Perhaps surprisingly, education is the second most important issue to voters (16 percent), followed by foreign policy (15 percent), immigration (10 percent), and health care (10 percent).

When asked which economic issue is most important to their vote, three primary groups emerge: 24 percent say government spending, 23 percent say jobs, and another 23 percent say the gap between rich and poor. Following those, 13 percent said the budget deficit, 9 percent said taxes, and only 6 percent mentioned business regulation was the most important economic issue for their vote.

Issue priorities vary by partisanship. Four in 10 independents and Republicans prioritize the economy compared to 28 percent of Democrats. Conversely, Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to prioritize education—25 v 12 percent respectively, and 15 percent of independents. Conversely, independents and Republicans are nearly twice as likely as Democrats to prioritize national security (17 to 9 percent).

Young Americans are slightly more likely to say education (33%) is most important to their vote this November than is the economy (29%). Moving across older age cohorts, education as a priority declines to 18 percent among 45-54 year olds and 8 percent among seniors while importance of the economy rises to 35 percent.

Issue priorities also vary by race/ethnicity. Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as Caucasians to say education is most important to their vote this November (25 to 14 percent), the same is true on immigration (20 to 10 percent respectively). African-Americans are the most likely to identify education (36 percent) as most relevant to their vote followed by the economy (31%). Caucasians primarily place weight on the economy (36%) and national security (16%).

Economic issue prioritization also varies across partisanship. The top three economic priorities for Republican voters are government spending (32%), jobs (19%), and the budget deficit (17%). But for Democrats, the top three are reducing the income gap (37%), jobs (26%), followed by government spending (16%). Independents rank jobs (32%) then government spending (26%) followed by the income gap (17%).

* If we define both groups as those who prefer smaller government with fewer services, but libertarian-leaners as those who say government should not promote traditional values and conservative leaners as those who say government should promote traditional values, they each comprise 27 percent of the sample.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1000 adults on cell phones (500) and landlines (500) August 6-10, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.7%. Full poll results can be found here. including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls).

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    (John and his idiot sidekick Episiarch Nov, Dec, Jan)

    1. Dewey defeats Truman.

    2. Um, generic ballots don’t matter, fuckhead. What matters is where the races are being contested, and since there are more than a few Dem Senators up,for reelection in predominately red states, it’s starting to look like this year will be a bloodbath for Team Blue.

      The GOP will let you,win Massholia, Illinois and New Mexico without really contesting them. Hell,mother may end up 70-30 in the voting. But when the GOP picks up WV, AK, AR, MT, NC, LA, IA and SD by 5-7’points each, I doubt you will find much solace in the generic,ballot.

      1. I am well aware of the concept of “Red States”, jackass. My contention all along is that voting patterns will follow mid term norms and that the ACA will not be a measurable difference maker.

        The Peanut Gallery was hooting and hollering like Wrestlemania fans last winter – claiming an epic landslide would happen. That Dems would lose nearly every Congressional race.

        John has got some Dick Morris in him. Always wrong on everything.

        1. So “norms” tell you that the opposition party tends to pick up 7 or 8 Senate seats in an off year? Bull fucking shit.

          As for “the Dems would lose nearly every congressional race”, it’s starting to look like an accurate prediction once,you remove the seats both parties have gerrymandered into the safe column.

          1. The norm is that Dem Senators lose Red states in mid terms. Go back to Tom Daschle in 2002.

            1. Sure you wanna keep playing, shreek? The game’s always between you and getting called a cunt. That dropped eye of yours looks like the hood on a cunt to me, shreek. When you talk, your mouth looks like a cunt moving.

            2. Is the “norm” that every single one in a vigorously contested election loses? Because that’s about,to,happen.

        2. Hey Weigel, I’ll admit that it took a lot of guts for you to confess your mental illness to the world the other day.

          Neverthless, it’s wrong of you to take out your manic-depressive rage on us here simply because Matt Welch properly told you that you would be happier working in a place where you belong with your fellow left-wingers.

          So you need to follow your doctor’s advice, take your meds properly like he tells you to, keep working on your book like you should be, and give us a break here.

      2. By the way, RTP is slowly turning NC blue. The bitter clingers are dying out.

        1. RTP?

          1. Is that Research Triangle? Because,people have been saying that shit for almost two decades and it still hasn’t swung the state very much at all.

            Sure tech people tend to be socially liberal, but as those barriers get overcome, they start looking at their bank accounts and start realizing they’re getting financially raped by big government policies and spending.

        2. What’s your opinion on Colorado?

          Hickenlooper v. Beauprez and
          Udall vs. Gardner

          (I ask this here because I can’t decide whether Colorado is “permanently purple” or “just turning blue”.)


        3. Poor Weigel, always being chased by the phantoms of Christians.

    3. What contested congressional race has the candidate campaigning on how they signed the ACA? The only ones touting it are in safe seats.


      (Palin’s Buttplug, Sept)

    5. PB, last midterm election in 2010, the “generic ballot” numbers were pretty much dead even.

      How did that one turn out for the Dems?


  2. Young likely voters will not vote. Only Democrat likely voters who see a direct personal financial stake in the outcome of the midterms will vote in any numbers. Likely Republican voters who have been paying attention will run to the polls in greater numbers to air their grievances by pulling the level against Democrats. That’s the result of the Fist of Etiquette Poll conducted in my brain and it has a zero margin of error.

  3. And then, of course, there’s the revealed preference where 95% of incumbents from either party get reelected in landslides.

    This shit gets more pathetic every time Reason publishes it. Harold Camping has a roughly equal track record as a prognosticator.

  4. What exactly is meant by “education” as an issue? I mean only Boko Haram and company disagree that education, per se, is a good thing. I suspect that “education” means very different things for different groups of people; that is, it could be “pay off the student loans I foolishly doubled down on like a drunken sailor in Vegas” or “vouchers, charters, and choice” or “fuck Common Core” or “give more money to me and my teacher cronies” or etc. et al. mutatis mutandis blah, blah, blah….

    1. Whatever is meant by “education” you can be 100% sure it entails much-needed student-focused reforms, all of which entail more spending and centralization with less accountability so that everyone can feel good about supporting something as drastically important as education without actually having to do anything about it.

    2. The answer to every question is MONEY.

      “Education is important to young voters” = STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS

      “Healthcare is important to seniors” = FREE MEDICINE

      “Immigration reform is important to Hispanics” = OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS

  5. What I find most depressing is that 83% of America are suffering from “Tina Turner Syndrome”.

    No,wonder Robin Williams offed himself.

    1. Well to be fair they didn’t mean it, and also we were kind of out of line.

  6. Also, why is “Budget Deficit” considered among most important economic issues but “Debt” isn’t? I think more people are actually starting to take notice of the debt as it relates to our national solvency and more,people are also realizing the deficit can be much more easily manipulated and is therefore not really as important or reliable as an indicator of fiscal restraint/responsibility.

    1. Maybe because you can’t do anything about the debt until you first eliminate the deficit.

      1. True, but you can manipulate the annual numbers to show a reduced deficit yet increase the debt considerably.

        Just look at the math the current admin is using to give the impression they’ve reined in spending. Sure the deficit is smaller but the debt is ballooning a lot more annually than it ever did under Bush.

        1. In spite of lower interest rates as well.

    2. Without a significant deficit we can grow our way out of the debt the Bushpigs piled up.

      Unfortunately Congress bailed on Simpson-Bowles and the deficit is just half where Bush left it.

      1. BOOSHPIGS!!11!!!!CHRISTFAGS!!1!!!!!

      2. It’s nice that Bush was finally able to relinquish the power of the purse strings 6 years into Obama’s presidency when the deficit fell below a trillion dollars for the first time since the recession started.

      3. Isn’t Simpson-Bowles doomed due to the fact that Americans will never entrust unelected officials with the power to cut their most cherished government programs?

        Truly depressing, I think

      4. Holy shit your stupidity never ceases to amaze me.

        Why do you suck so much demfag?

      5. we can grow our way out of the debt the Bushpigs piled up.

        Increase in debt under Bush (inauguration day 2001 – inauguration day 2009): $4.9TT

        Increase in debt under Obama (inauguration day 2009 – yesterday): $7TT. And counting.

      6. Unfortunately Congress bailed on Simpson-Bowles and the deficit is just half where Bush left it.

        Deficit for Bush’s last year in office (01/21/2008 – 2009): $1.5TT

        Deficit for the most recent year (08/14/13 – 08/14/14): 0.9TT.

      7. Without a significant deficit we can grow our way out of the debt the Bushpigs piled up.

        We need to bomb the village to save it!

    3. Jeez I don’t know Mr fucking buttmunch…why don’t ask to run the fucking magazine you bigmouthed fucking loser, then you can figure it out yourself. Maybe masturbating and eating Dorito’s really does make you qualified for a real job. My god you know it all fucking losers are tiresome.

  7. But what do millenials think?

  8. Who are these 2% that believe same-sex marriage is the most important issue for congress?

      1. Oh that makes sense.

      2. I’ve read that while 2% of Americans self-identify as gay, the public believes that ~25% of Americans are homosexuals.

        This fact (?) was repeated by a very pissed-off SoCon with anger at media elites.

  9. 83% of likely voters plan to vote stupidly.

    You’re welcome, Ms. Ekins.

  10. If the Republicans keep a House majority while losing the total popular vote again, can we have a revolution?

    1. So you literally don’t know how congressional districts work? I mean, it’s a shitty enough argument when you use it for statewide officers or the presidency, but I always figured it was rooted in ideology rather than total ignorance.

      1. Yes I literally know how it works. I also know how democracy is supposed to work. Who gets the most votes is supposed to win.

        Why don’t you explain the virtue of gerrymandering and having a Congress that doesn’t represent the will of the people?

        1. I also know how democracy is supposed to work. Who gets the most votes is supposed to win.

          Why don’t you explain the virtue of gerrymandering and having a Congress that doesn’t represent the will of the people?

          You are so ignorant, it is not even funny. Worse, you actually possess the chutzpah to believe yourself to be educated and well-read. Even in a freshman-year survey course, you’d encounter the influence upon the founders of the United States of arguments by Aristotle, Polybius, or Cicero against unchecked democracy, as opposed to a civic republicanism that protected individual and/or minority rights versus a simple majority.

          You are truly an avatar of the Dunning?Kruger effect made manifest in flesh.

          1. You are truly an avatar of the Dunning?Kruger effect made manifest in flesh.


          2. Who is arguing for unchecked democracy?

            And what does Republicans winning control of Congress despite not having the support of a majority of voters have to do with upholding individual rights?

            What is this bullshit? In order to protect individual rights against mob rule, we give Republicans a head start in all elections?

            1. Everyone in Congress has won a majority (or at least a plurality) in their own district. It’s just that you want every election to be national, so you get to vote on who represents everyone other state and district in the country.

          3. I would very much like never to have this conversation again, so please comprehend something: any time you are performing a one-man rendition of 1776 the musical and lecturing me on tyranny of the majority, you are attacking a straw man. I’m all for minority and individual protections. But some decisions (like, most) in a democratic society are determined by simple majority rule. Like who wins a congressional seat.

            Why do you people harp on this so much when the question is never actually on the table?

            1. I’m all for minority and individual protections. But some decisions (like, most) in a democratic society are determined by simple majority rule.

              So you’re for tyranny of the majority when you like the outcome, and against it when you don’t. But we already knew that.

              1. No, but you guys seem to be for whatever system gives you everything you want, no matter how many get mowed down in the process. It’s the only way to explain your failure to get beyond this gradeschool shit.

                1. There you go again, Tony. Projecting.

                  Since all you understand is “I WAN! I WAN! MAMMA I WAN IT!” you simply cannot understand libertarian principles. It’s beyond your simple intellect because you are incapable of abstract thought. But we already knew that.

                  1. Libertarians are morons, sarc. All of you. You have not stumbled upon the one great truth about how men should live after thousands of years of philosophy. You just found a few slogans that make the world seem simple, as you need it to be.

                2. Tony, I think it would be great if government could provide everyone with free shit. It would be great if no one had to work or do anything that they didn’t want, and have all their needs taken care of for them by angels in government. Everyone would live at the expense of everyone else. It would be great, except that it doesn’t work.

                  That’s the part you fail to understand. It’s not a matter of like or want, it’s a matter of principle and logic. Adult stuff that you don’t understand.

            2. Tony|8.15.14 @ 12:51PM|#
              “I would very much like never to have this conversation again,”

              If you would simply drink a gallon or so of bleach, you could put a lot of people out of misery and never have this conversation again.

            3. I think you’re misunderstanding it, this may be a little clearer:

              You’re being called out for consistently arguing for your point of view, based on the false premise that the United States of America is a democracy. It isn’t.

              At least you’re correct, a straw man IS being attacked: yours.

              1. It is a democracy. It’s not a direct democracy. It’s also not a libertarianocracy or whatever the fuck you think. I think we’re all aware of how our system of government works.

          4. “Dunning-Kruger effect”

            Thanks HM, I learned something new today.

          5. Ya…that’s why the fucking Senate is there dipshit. Jesus fucking Christ go watch more Glenn Beck. I’m so sick of you party of stupid, “legitimate rape” fucking morons, trying to sound like you know anything at all.

        2. What you’ve just said… is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having seen it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul…

        3. If we were living in a true democracy, we’d have proportional representation and the two-party stranglehold would be demolished.

          I’d be fine with that. Would you?

          1. ‘Tony’ is fine with whatever gets him his pony.

            1. ‘Tony’ is fine with whatever gets him his pony a fucking retard.


              1. Correction accepted.

          2. Yes, very much so.

            The system as a whole is not supposed to be a pure democracy, but Congress is supposed to be the democratic branch.

            1. The House is supposed to be the democratically elected branch. The Senate was supposed to represent the States prior to ratification of the 17th Amendment. By playing off the people vs the states, one might reduce the number of bad laws.

              1. So we see once again that Tony lies to support his claims.

          3. If we were living in a true democracy, we’d have proportional representation and the two-party stranglehold would be demolished.

            Didn’t sop You Know Who.

            1. Didn’t *stop* You Know Who.

        4. Tony:

          Why don’t you explain the virtue of gerrymandering and having a Congress that doesn’t represent the will of the people?

          You argument just points out the arbitrariness of putting voters into districts based on geography. Unless voting preferences are uniformly distributed geographically, it’s always likely that you can have that situation. The only way to prevent it would be to attempt to predict voting patterns and redistrict for every damn election, with the intended purpose of having congress come out with a membership that reflects the total, popular vote. Good luck with that.

          If you want to go to a multi-party system and achieve that, fine by me. In that case, libertarians deserve about 1-2 senators and 5-10 members in the house of representatives, based on estimating their votes of 1-2% in every election. And, since the voting turnout is suppressed by the two-party system already, that would probably increase, since the concept of “you’re just throwing your vote away” goes away.

          The irony of a democrat whining to libertarians that he doesn’t get the congressional representation that his people deserve is obviously lost on you.

          1. Additionally, the whole ad hominem argument “Look at those fringe libertarians. Why they can’t even win seats for federal office, and that clearly must be because of their insane views, given the purity of our democratic system!” goes away, too. Feel free to pull the lever on that, whenever you convince your fellow democrats to potentially undermine the power base that elected them, for the sake of the greater good of getting more democrats in office.

            Be sure to hold your breath for that.

          2. Obviously no system will be perfectly representative, but a reality in which more total votes go to Democratic House candidates, yet Republicans hold a substantial majority, is a scandal. Congress is literally doing the opposite of what the American people are telling it to do. We either fix gerrymandering or our government has no legitimacy, it’s that simple.

            1. Yeah, you democrats are real victims of the two-party system. Boo hoo.

        5. Massachusetts has zero Republican Congressman even though 40% of the state votes that way? I don’t see you giving a shit about that.

          1. Flip that around and he’ll care a whole lot.

          2. I favor massively increasing the size of Congress so that such problems as that will be rectified.

            1. But, why stop there? Aren’t action and inaction equivalent?

              Just increasing the size of congress, without any other structural changes, simply implies carving out new congressional districts. At the point that you’re carving them out specifically to give democrats an additional advantage, your satisfying the definition of gerrymandering: specifying districts for the advantage of a political party.

              Really, if you care so much about democratic representation, you should go for a multi-party system. Something like this: everyone votes for a party, and simultaneously, within their party votes to rank potential legislatures. Based on the votes the party gets, they get to send that many members to congress, in a national election.

              It’s great because, outside of rounding errors, everyone has a representative they actually voted for, provided a relatively small number of people agree with them. Also, it would reduce or eliminate the tendency of legislators to vote on national issues with respect to how they impact a small geographic area.Their constituency would be dispersed.

              You’ll never here a democrat suggest that, because it would drastically undermine the power they get from the two-party system. So, they’ll just whine about not enough districts, in the same old system, with dreams of gerrymandering in their hearts.

              Funny, you’d think a party with the word “democracy” in the name would care more about democracy. Instead, it seems to be just a slogan.

  11. Sad that restoration of liberty is not even on the radar of most folks.

  12. Isn’t this news devastating? Usually the Dems outdo the Reps by a lot more in these polls, because of the selection bias (what people actually vote differs a lot).

    Interested PB is triumphalist about some terrible news for Team Blue. You on Team Red now, buddy?

    1. As noted above, an even split on the generic ballot is what we saw in 2010.

  13. THe prog stupidity on here is remarkable. They offer nothing close to resembling a serious debate, strawman posted exit stage left. Disappointing but expected.

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