Contrary to the stereotype, most Americans are not planning to hold their noses at the ballot box, but instead say they’re enthusiastic about the candidates they will vote for in next week’s midterm elections.
According to a new national poll conducted by HarrisX for the Deseret News, 7 in 10 voters say they are “excited” about the candidates they are voting for in both U.S. House and Senate races.
The narrative that this year’s candidates were too extreme for general election voters, especially on the Republican side, did not bear out when voters were asked how they felt about their choices at the ballot box.
When asked whether Democrats or Republicans have done a better job choosing candidates for the midterms, 83% of Democratic and Republican likely voters said they were happy with the candidates chosen by their respective parties. Fewer partisans were excited about the candidates chosen by the other party — only 6% of voters said both parties did a good job choosing candidates.
Independent voters were more likely to say Republicans did a better job choosing candidates — with 33% choosing Republicans compared to 28% for Democrats. This finding tracks with the latest polls showing late-deciding independent voters are breaking for Republicans in the run-up to Election Day.
A full quarter of independent voters said neither party did a good job, and 14% said both parties chose good candidates.
Suburban and rural voters were more likely to say Republicans did a better job of choosing candidates, as were working and middle-class voters. Black and higher-income voters were more likely to say Democrats did a better job. Latinos were more divided — 34% said Democrats did a better job, 26% chose Republicans, while 12% said both parties chose good candidates and 27% said neither did.
When voters were asked if they were excited about the candidate they are voting for, or if they are just voting for them because of their party affiliation, 7 in 10 likely voters said they are excited about their choice, while 3 in 10 said they are only voting for their chosen candidate because of her or his political party. The Deseret/HarrisX poll found voters had equal levels of enthusiasm for candidates in the U.S. House and Senate.
Independents were slightly less enthusiastic — only 65% said they were excited about their preferred candidate for the House, and 60% said the same about their choice for Senate.
The Deseret News/Harrix national poll was conducted on October 25-26, among 630 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.