To really understand an election, you have to understand the motivations and lives of the Americans who voted in it. But at times our politics misses out on this, and describes people only as a demographic group or party label. We can do better.
We have the data for this: Thousands of interviews during the year in our CBS News polling on where people have expressed themselves and how they view politics.
Here’s what we’ve learned: the groups that are impacted by 2022, whose ideas and options are still moving the conversation forward and possibly setting a mid-term next month.
Chances are you know someone like them – or are even a member of these groups yourself. And that’s it.
We’ll follow them with our surveys until election night to see how they vote and If They vote, which is often more important in these polarized times. Because if every election is a story about us, and who we are as a nation, then we definitely have to see the end they wrote.
Their story: the post-pandemic stress on their finances… and their children.
It’s been a long time for everyone. The pandemic took a toll on so many people. Through this we interviewed parents who worked to keep families safe; Navigating the quarantine, working from home and schooling, and telling us this brings them stress. And then as it subsided, inflation hit, with financial stress on top. Today, this group of parents reflects it all, saying that the pandemic has affected children negatively, or they are now facing a difficult financial situation.
These parents collectively show a mix of views in politics: they are swayed by rising inflation and gas prices, the economy is important in their vote, concerned about paying for things, and they think President Biden. can do more. But relief funds helped many of them, and they’re more apt to think Republicans are for the rich. Is there a conflict there, and which party can win? They make up 13% of potential voters and their current vote is slightly more Republican, with 47% Republican and 40% Democratic.
trump true believers
“MAGA” with great influence on the Republican Party and its fate
These voters told us that they consider themselves “part of the MAGA movement” as well as being Republican, and that makes them a powerful force inside today’s GOP. You cannot understand this election without understanding them. On issues, he has told us he does not believe Biden won in 2020; Want the Republican Party and its candidates to support the former president. In particular, in their view of politics, they are more likely than other Republicans to call Democrats “enemies”, not just adversaries.
Republicans need their turnout to win, even as a net-negative factor in pre-presidential elections and the ideas they hold about 2020 are not popular beyond base. Their effect is that of the vote, not the election of the vote. They are 20% of the electorate and 97% are voting Republican. Would they show up without Donald Trump on the ballot? Or if you start seeing Republican candidates softening their stance, does anyone stay home?
restore row voters
Women prioritizing abortion rights—and voting on them
We know that Roe’s reversal changed this election – the question is how much? This group, in particular, will help with storytelling. While many call the issue important, these women tend to profile most like single-issue, abortion rights voters. They are: 24% of voters, women who say abortion is very important, want it to remain legal and say a candidate must agree to earn their vote.
His inspiration this fall closed the gap that could have otherwise been a larger GOP leadership, as they are voting strongly Democratic at 81% today. But can Democrats raise their ranks? It seems that much of his campaign has depended on it. Lately, in the face of worse economic news, Democrats have faced a headwind on this. So will they be enough to keep the race close or tip something?
the young and the Restless:
The story of voting for the ages
Many young people today tell us that they thought things were easier for the older generations than they were. Many feel locked out of a large part of the economy. His view of the world is driven by the diversity of his generation, which studies show is among the most diverse in American history. He is under 30 and has no children. But they are also less likely to vote, with less than half saying they certainly will, and so now comprise 6% of potential voters. His vote is now: 60% Democrat to 26% Republican. They use social media more and pay attention to politics, though not as much as others.
They mostly — but not heavily — when they vote Democratic, so Democrats need to give them a better chance overall. Still, this past year, he was among the first to decline approval for Mr Biden, frustrated by the economy. Will social issues and rights issues inspire them instead?