A New John Zogby Strategies Poll of Independents
By Jeremy Zogby, Managing Partner, John Zogby Strategies
While Republicans lead on key issues, GOP candidate claims of election fraud appear to hurt them among Independents in key battleground states.
The new John Zogby Strategies survey of 1,250 Independent likely voters in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin reveals this key voting bloc is thus far leaning Democrat in their voting intention. The overall sample has a +/-2.8 percentage point margin of error and a +/- 6 MOE for each state. The poll was conducted October 26 – 30 and utilized a hybrid interactive methodology (half online panel/half mobile to web).
The new poll’s Generic Congressional Ballot – an aggregate of independents in the five battleground states – shows Democrats ahead by 8 points (45% to 37%), leaving 6% choosing another party, and 12% undecided.
Key findings include:
- 60% rate inflation as the top issue.
- Abortion is the second top-rated issue when it comes to voting at 29%, followed by crime coming in third place at 23%.
- A series of questions asked, “if a candidate…promised to support [issue _____] would that make you much more likely, somewhat more likely, somewhat less likely, much less likely, or would it make no difference in voting for a candidate?” Issues with the greatest intensity that would drive voters to the polls include the following percentages:
- 59% say they’re less likely to vote for a candidate who has made repeated claims of voter fraud. Of that 59%, 49% alone say such claims make them much less likely to vote for that candidate, which is by far the highest level of intensity in the series.
- 56% report they are more likely to vote for a candidate who promises to reinstate the Keystone Pipeline.
- 56% are more likely to vote for a candidate who promises to support reinstating Roe v. Wade.
- 55% are more likely to back a candidate who wants tougher control at the Southern border.
While Independents lean toward Democratic candidates in the 5-battleground-state Congressional Generic Ballot with nearly a week to go, the levels of undecided Independents preclude any definitive attempt to project who will take the House.
In other findings:
- 66% will vote on Election Day and 34% are voting by mail-in ballot.
- Independents in the five states report Democrats handle better – abortion, climate change, energy (only slightly with 38% selecting Democrats and 34% saying Republicans), race relations, and education.
- Independents believe Republicans handle better – inflation/economy, immigration, crime, the American dream, and relations with Russia.
While Democrats score better on five issues noted above among Independents, and Republicans also get five, three of the Republican issues (inflation, crime, and immigration) are at the top of the list.
How do we reconcile all of this?
Managing Partner Jeremy Zogby says, “The nature of the Independent voter is to be on the fence, not siding with either camp and preferring to watch intently before casting a ballot. While Independents believe the GOP outperforms Democrats on several top issues, alleging election fraud does not appear to lure them to the Republican camp.”
Senior Partner John Zogby says, “It would be election malpractice to make any predictions. Anything can happen between now and November 8th.”
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Okay, if inflation is the most important factor by a factor of 2, then the answers to many of the questions are interesting but not highly relevant. The generic D vs R seems to be a general leaning, but not highly predictive, because independents rate R higher on their most important issue. If the margin on the inflation factor is large, then they’d vote for R candidates, wouldn’t they?
not if they don’t like them when many R’s have been talking about topics Independents don’t like. That is still talking about 2020 fraud.