Last week, we reported that Republicans right now hold the largest generic ballot advantage (+6) since we began polling in 2014. Today, we’ll explain why.
The answer is simple: Voters overwhelmingly trust the Republican Party to address the issues that are of most concern to them right now.
On four of the top five issues that are “very important” to voters, Republicans hold a double-digit trust advantage. On the fifth, education, Republicans narrowed what was once a substantial trust deficit to almost even.
|Issue||Very Important||Republican advantage|
|Quality of education in our public schools||82%||-2|
|Inflation and rising prices||80%||+ 16|
|North Carolina’s economy||80%||+ 16|
|Protecting our freedoms/American way of life||79%||+ 17|
Democrats have long enjoyed a trust advantage over Republicans on health care issues, which paid dividends in election years in which health care was a focal point. In our October 2020 poll, health care ranked second, just behind the economy, as the most important issues in voters’ minds. But now, health care isn’t even a top-five issue.
Also in 2020, voters gave Democrats a +13 advantage on education, but that has narrowed to just +2. This is a critical trend to watch. Education, like health care, has long been a reliable bread-and-butter issue for Democrats. If Republicans can continue to break even on the issue, the decision to close schools may be the pandemic-era call with the greatest long-term political consequences.
Right now, Republicans hold the largest generic ballot advantage we’ve seen because voters trust Republicans over Democrats on the issues that concern them most.