by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Swing district voters who identify as Republicans and independents support populist policies resembling those promulgated by former President Donald Trump but are inclined to shun sharp-tongued insurgents, according to fresh polling from a centrist group that supports pragmatic conservatives.
The Republican Main Street Partnership last month surveyed 600 registered voters across six battleground House districts in the South, Midwest, and Northeast. The data revealed remarkably strong support for “conservative populist policy” reminiscent of the Trump administration’s legislative agenda. At the same time, these Republicans and independents expressed opposition to congressional candidates who run as “uncompromising insurgents” intent on shaking up Washington rather than “uphold the institutions of government.”
“Competitive swing districts across the country are the key to Republicans winning back the majority in 2022,” said Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership. “Voters want good, commonsense, conservative policies, without the noise and rhetoric.” The group announced earlier this year that it plans to invest $25 million in swing House districts to help the GOP recapture Congress and halt the advance of conservative provocateurs loyal to Trump.
In its latest survey, 26% of respondents expressed a favorable opinion of President Joe Biden, who is proposing a series of liberal programs and trillions in government spending. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California fared worse, registering a 14% favorability rating. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York clocked in at 17%.
House Republicans are just a handful of seats shy of the majority, with their bid to reclaim power in the 2022 midterm elections bolstered by decennial reapportionment and history. In every midterm election since 1982, except two, the party that holds the White House has lost seats in Congress. Redistricting will alter district boundaries, potentially impacting the politics of the House seats polled by the Republican Main Street Partnership.