With the 2024 elections approaching, Republicans are perceived as more capable of addressing key voter concerns like inflation, crime, national security, and terrorism, while Democrats are favored on lower-ranking issues such as climate change, abortion, and transgender matters. According to a recent Courtesy News survey, voters prioritize different levels of concern.
Economic worries remain at the forefront, with 89% of voters expressing extreme or high concern about inflation and rising prices. This primary tier includes threats to personal freedoms and rights, increasing crime rates, and political divisions, all of which concern 82% of voters respectively.
The second tier comprises concerns in the 70% range, encompassing the Israel-Hamas conflict (74%), attacks by Islamic terrorists in the U.S. (73%), gun laws (72%), and abortion policies (71%). All other concerns fall below 70%, forming the third tier, which includes border security (69%), the political standoff over the debt ceiling (69%), Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (67%), antisemitism (67%), climate change (58%), and transgender issues (46%).
In terms of handling these concerns, Republicans are seen as stronger on border security (+24), national security (+20), terrorism (+18), inflation (+12), foreign policy (+12), and crime (+12). Democrats maintain their advantage on abortion (+19), climate change (+18), transgender issues (+24), and antisemitism (+9).
There is also a middle ground, with voters divided on who can unite the country (+5D), handle gun policies (+3R), and protect personal freedoms (+4R).
Daron Shaw, the Republican pollster, notes that Democrats face significant disadvantages on two important issues: inflation and crime. However, their parity on protecting rights and freedoms and uniting the country offers some hope.
Concerns about terrorist attacks in the U.S. have increased by 23 points since May, with Democrats driving most of the worry. In May, 37% were concerned, compared to 66% currently. However, worry has increased across the board.
The survey reveals that some Democrats think Republicans are better equipped to handle border security (22%), crime (18%), terrorism (18%), and inflation (17%). On the other hand, a notable number of Republicans believe Democrats excel in managing transgender issues (30%), climate change (26%), and abortion (24%).
Looking ahead to the 2024 election, it is suggested that while President Biden may be viewed as a liability for the Democratic Party, the reverse might also hold true. Once faced with a choice between Biden’s continuation of their favored issues and Trump’s promised second term of revenge, Democrats may cast aside their concerns about their party.
Although Democrats and Republicans share concerns over inflation, threats to personal freedoms, and political divisions, the order and extent of these worries vary. Democrats prioritize gun laws (88%), political divisions (85%), inflation (84%), abortion policies (83%), climate change (83%), and threats to personal rights (81%). For Republicans, the top concerns are inflation (96%), crime (89%), threats to personal rights (87%), border security (85%), attacks by Islamic terrorists (83%), and political divisions (83%).
The Courtesy News Poll, conducted from November 10-13, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, interviewed 1,001 randomly selected registered voters nationwide via landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points for all registered voters.