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CNN Poll: Democrats advantage grows in race for Congress

CNN Poll: Democrats advantage grows in race for Congress

Despite Democrats’ advantage on that measure, a plurality (48%) in the same poll believe Republicans will maintain control of Congress after the election, compared with 40% who believe Democrats will gain control.

Among those who favor the Democratic candidate in their district, 64% say they think Democrats will ultimately win control of Congress, while among those backing Republican candidates, 83% think the GOP will maintain control.

Compared to previous elections, 68% of registered voters say they’re more enthusiastic to vote in this election than in the past. Registered Democrats and Republicans report being more excited to vote at similar levels, with 70% and 68% saying so, respectively.

However, Democrats have taken a much higher leap in enthusiasm vs. 2016 than Republicans. When CNN last asked the question, in September 2016, only 38% of Democrats said they were “more enthusiastic,” while 48% of Republicans said the same. Registered Democrats jumped 32-points since 2016 and Republicans moved 20-points.

Health care is key

Health care tops the list of important issues voters will consider this fall with 81% saying it’s extremely or very important to their vote for Congress, followed very closely by the economy (80%).

Immigration is on the rise as a critical issue — from 38% in May to 44% now. However, the issue’s overall importance hasn’t increased substantially.

Gun policy remains a deeply important issue for almost three quarters of Americans (73% call it extremely or very important to their vote), and corruption — an issue newly in the spotlight following Rep. Chris Collins’ arrest on insider trading charges — outpaces trade policy and taxes in importance to voters (74% call corruption extremely or very important vs. 64% on trade policy and 71% on taxes).

Beyond those issues, Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — two politicians who are the subject of many a campaign ad this cycle — provoke very different reactions. Most voters, 68%, say that Trump will be an important factor in their vote this fall, while only about a third (34%) feel the same way about Pelosi.

The Russia factor

The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is climbing as a relevant issue for voters, the percentage calling it at least very important has increased by five points since May.

That rising concern comes as a majority of Americans see foreign interference as likely in this fall’s elections. Six-in-ten say it’s very or somewhat likely that a foreign government will interfere in the US elections this fall with only 37% saying it’s not too likely or not likely at all. There are sharp differences by party on this question, with 35% of Republicans seeing foreign meddling with US congressional elections as likely, well below expectations among Democrats (83% likely) or independents (56% likely).

If a foreign government were to meddle in US elections, almost three-quarters say it would be a crisis or major problem. Almost three in 10, 28%, think it would be a crisis, 46% a major problem, 16% a minor problem, and 8% believe it wouldn’t be a problem at all.

A plurality of every single demographic group viewed hypothetical meddling by a foreign government in US elections as a major problem, including those who approve of President Trump’s job performance at 43%.

Those most likely to view hypothetical foreign meddling in US elections as a crisis are those who disapprove of Trump (42%), Democrats (41%), and women (36%).

Most don’t know about QAnon

The group QAnon, which has become a regular presence at Trump’s rallies in recent weeks, hasn’t made an impression on most Americans. About two-thirds (65%) say they haven’t heard anything at all about it, and another 19% have heard of it but don’t know enough to have an opinion on it. The impressions it has made are largely negative: 12% say they have a negative impression of the group vs. just 2% who hold it in a positive light.

College graduates and Democrats are the most likely to have heard a great deal or just some about QAnon, but no demographic subgroup had a positive impression of them.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS August 9-12 among a random national sample of 1,002 adults and 921 registered voters reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points, it is larger for subgroups.

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