November 6, 2006

Democrats and Republicans See Different Realities

Profiling the Voters

The vast divide between voters who intend to vote Democratic and Republican tomorrow extends well beyond matters of opinion. These voters also see the world quite differently. For the vast majority of Republican voters — 70% — the state of the economy is doing well; most Democratic voters (74%) say the economy is doing only fair or poorly. Despite the rising American death toll in Iraq, 61% of GOP voters say things there are going at least fairly well. Eight-in-ten Democratic voters (81%) disagree.

A profile of voters in Tuesday’s elections, based on interviews with 2,369 voters conducted Nov. 1-4, shows that the situation in Iraq is the leading issue in the midterm election. But many more voters who say they will vote for a Democratic candidate rate Iraq as a top issue than do GOP voters (by 60% to 37%). No single issue dominates the concerns of Republican voters: 42% of those who say they will vote for a Republican cite terrorism as a top issue; 41% cite the economy; and 37% mention the situation in Iraq.

The profile shows that gay marriage divides Democratic voters, while Republicans are split over stem cell research. It also finds that while 53% of Democratic voters describe themselves as “civil liberties advocates” just a third of Republican voters say that phrase accurately describes them.

Congressional Vote and Issue Preferences

Among Registered Voters

Question: If the 2006 elections for U.S. Congress were being held TODAY, would you vote for the Democratic Party’s candidate or the Republican Party’s candidate for Congress in your district? As of TODAY, do you LEAN more to the Democrat or the Republican?

Data Note: Figures may not add to 100 percent due to rounding.

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