A recent Quinnipiac poll of 1,020 prospective voters asked them to share their primary motivations in the midterms and significant age, race, and gender differences emerged. The polling indicates there are opportunities for the GOP to approach Independents and younger voters with economic messages that don’t place Trump in the spotlight. It also highlights the very real issue of gun violence that pushes gun policy higher up the list of priorities for Black voters and indicates how comparatively irrelevant the immigration debate is to a large share of Black voters.
Men focused on the economy, women focused on immigration and healthcare
The largest share of white men (30%) said the economy was their number one issue in influencing their midterm vote, while the largest share of white women (26%) said immigration was their primary issue. The largest disparities between white men and women’s priorities were the economy (30% of white men to 19% of white women prioritized the economy) and healthcare (25% of white women to 18% of white men prioritized healthcare).
It’s worth noting that immigration was the most important issue to the largest share of voters overall (27%) followed closely by the economy (23%) and healthcare (22%).
Older voters prioritized immigration and healthcare, younger voters prioritized the economy
The share of respondents prioritizing immigration rose significantly with age. Only 22% of eighteen to fifty-year-olds said immigration was their number one issue, compared to 29% of fifty to sixty-four-year olds and 32% of those over 65.
The most important issue to voters under 50 was the economy, with 26% of eighteen to thirty-four-year-olds and 27% of thirty-five to forty-nine-year-olds saying the economy mattered most.
Immigration mattered less to Black voters, healthcare and gun policies mattered more
The most important issue to the largest share of Black voters was healthcare (30%) followed by the economy (23%) and gun policy (23%). The 23% of Black voters prioritizing gun policy was significantly higher than for whites (12%) and Hispanics (9%).
Also notable, immigration fell to 4th place in importance for Black voters, with just 15% of Black respondents saying immigration was their number one issue, compared to 26% of Whites and 31% of Hispanics.
Enthusiasm among Blacks and Hispanics was higher than whites, but so was apathy
Larger shares of Blacks and Hispanics compared to White voters said they were more, and less, likely to vote in the midterms than in past elections. Fifty-five percent of Black voters and 55% of Hispanic voters said they were more likely to vote this year, compared to 47% of White voters.
On the reverse, 14% of Black voters and 9% of Hispanic voters said they were less likely to vote this year, compared to just 3% of White voters.
Trump mattered less to Independents, men, and youth, more to Democrats and women
When asked if their vote in this year’s election would be more in support of Trump, or opposition to Trump, or if he was not an important factor in their vote, 47% of Independents said he was not an important factor. Only 27% of Democrats and 36% of Republicans said Trump wasn’t an important factor in their midterm vote. Forty-six percent of men said Trump wasn’t an important factor in their vote this year, compared to just 32% of women.
A full 69% of Democrats said the midterms was a chance to express their opposition to Trump, along with 45% of Black voters, 41% of Hispanic voters, and 41% of women. Only 33% of Whites and 23% of men intended to express their opposition to Trump through voting.
By age, a larger share of younger voters compared to older voters said Trump wasn’t an important factor in their midterm vote. Forty-eight percent of voters thirty-five to forty-nine and 46% of voters eighteen to thirty-four said Trump was unimportant to their vote, compared to just 35% of voters fifty to sixty-four and only 25% of voters over 65.
Although 45% of Black voters said they planned to use the midterms to express opposition to Trump, among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics, Blacks were also more likely to say Trump didn’t matter to their vote. Fifty-percent of Blacks compared to 37% of Whites and 38% of Hispanics said Trump wasn’t an important factor.