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Republicans have advantages on immigration, crime and economy

by Stella Morgan

A new national NBC News poll has revealed that voters overwhelmingly trust Republicans to do a better job than Democrats when it comes to handling key issues such as border security, crime, the economy, and immigration. The poll also found that, by smaller margins, registered voters believe that Democrats are better on health care, abortion, the coronavirus, and education.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted the poll alongside Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt, highlighted the significance of these findings. He pointed out that Republicans have reached their all-time highs in dealing with the economy, immigration, and crime, according to the survey. Additionally, Republican Party leaders are perceived as more focused on protecting constitutional rights and democracy than their Democratic counterparts.

These results illustrate the dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden among the electorate, but it also showcases their reservations about former President Donald Trump, who is considered a likely rival in the 2024 presidential race. The Republican advantage on the economy is the highest recorded in over three decades of NBC News polling, but it remains at a level similar to that of September 2022. During the 2022 midterms, voters expressed concerns about the GOP, which led to surprisingly strong results for the Democrats.

Abortion has been a key issue that tilted the balance in favor of Democrats during the midterms. The poll reveals that Democrats maintain an advantage over Republicans in this area. On the other hand, voters believe that Republicans are better equipped to handle border security and crime, with 50% selecting the Republican Party for border security and 46% for crime.

Regarding health care, 45% of voters believe Democrats are better, while 22% believe Republicans are better. Similarly, 46% selected Democrats over Republicans in handling abortion, while 28% favored the Republicans.

One issue that Democratic Party leaders should pay attention to is the perception that they are not effectively looking out for the middle class. The survey shows that 34% of voters believe Republicans are better at this task, while 36% say the same of Democrats. The 2-point margin in favor of Democrats is the lowest in the history of the poll. In the last measurement in October 2018, Democrats had an 8-point advantage.

The poll also examined the perspectives of independent voters, swing voters, and moderates. Independents believe that Republicans are better at handling crime and the economy, but they believe Democrats are better at handling abortion, education, and looking out for the middle class, although by smaller margins. Swing voters, including suburban women and women aged 50-plus, largely supported the topline results.

Moderate voters, who make up 34% of the poll sample, agreed with the overall results on most issues. However, they believed that Democrats are better equipped to protect constitutional rights and safeguard democracy, while the overall survey favored Republicans on these issues.

In conclusion, the national NBC News poll highlights the trust voters place in Republicans when it comes to key issues like border security, crime, the economy, and immigration. However, Democrats have an advantage in areas such as health care, abortion, the coronavirus, and education. The results also indicate that Democrats need to address concerns that they are not effectively looking out for the middle class. It is clear that the political landscape is fluid, and both parties have work to do to win over the electorate ahead of future elections.

Disclaimer: The national NBC News poll was conducted from September 15-19, 2023, with 1,000 registered voters, including 848 contacted by cellphone. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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