The Center for Excellence in Polling (CEP) recently surveyed likely voters on current issues facing the country. This tracking poll asked similar questions to a tracking poll conducted in June of 2021. The results indicate that not only are Americans still concerned about many of the same issues they faced earlier this summer, but also that a great deal has happened in the last four months to shift the political tides—and not in the majority party’s favor.
Voters don’t favor expanding welfare programs.
At the time of CEP’s last tracking poll, the weekly federal unemployment bonus had not yet expired. The bonus expired September 6, and many states—like Florida and Montana—ended it early and reaped the economic benefits of incentivizing work. At this time, more than half of all voters say they do not think there is a general need to expand welfare programs in the United States (51%)—an indicator that voters trust the private sector to resolve economic woes.
More than half of all voters say they do not think there is a general need to expand welfare programs in the United States.
In similar margins to the second quarter tracking poll, respondents believe that welfare fraud is still a significant problem: A majority of voters say there is at least some fraud and abuse occurring in welfare programs (75%). Most voters can likely make the connection that their tax dollars fund expanded welfare programs that are often subject to fraud and abuse. So, it is unsurprising that almost half of all voters say that the length of time people are able to collect taxpayer-funded unemployment benefits is generally too long (46%).
A majority of voters say there is at least some fraud and abuse occurring in welfare programs.
Almost half of all voters say that the length of time people are able to collect taxpayer-funded unemployment benefits is generally too long.
Voters value transparency and security in elections.
In the past several months, states have enacted election integrity legislation to better secure their election processes. Encouragingly, this likely contributes to more than half of all voters saying they mostly or completely trust the election process in their states (67%). However, more than one quarter of all voters say they either “somewhat trust” or “do not trust” the election process (34%). Specifically, more than half of all voters say that if their state passed laws to increase transparency and security in elections, they would be more likely to vote in the 2022 election (54%). There is still some doubt, uncertainty, and mistrust among many in the electorate, but legislation that secures elections and improves transparency offers opportunity for an increase in confidence and participation among voters.
More than half of all voters saying they mostly or completely trust the election process in their states.
More than one quarter of all voters say they either “somewhat trust” or “do not trust” the election process.
Voters are looking for new leadership in 2022.
Voters are more likely to participate in the 2022 election now than they were several months ago. Now, 92% of all respondents say they are likely to vote in the 2022 election—this is a six-point jump from June 2021. Most notably, there’s a marked increase in support for Republican candidates in the general election for the U.S. House of Representatives. Now, 49% of all likely voters say they would vote for a Republican nominee if the election were today—a 12-point jump from several months ago. Rising inflation, the botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and other pressing concerns are likely contributing to voters’ interest in electing new leaders.
President Biden’s approval numbers continue to fall.
Not only is public opinion shifting in the minority party’s favor for mid-term elections, but President Biden is also losing steam among voters. Since June, the percentage of voters who say they approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president has dropped a full ten points and now sits at 40%. This is consistent with CEP’s previous polling that placed the president’s approval at 39%. Now, more than half of likely voters disapprove (56%).