With the midterm elections less than two months away, an increasing share of Americans say that their side in politics has been losing more often than it has been winning.
Pew Research Center conducted this study as part of ongoing research to understand Americans views about politics. For this analysis, we surveyed 10,588 U.S. adults between Sept. 13 and 18, 2022. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center’s American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATP’s methodology.
About seven-in-ten U.S. adults (72%) say that, on the issues that matter to them, their side in politics has been losing more often than winning. Just 24% say their side has been winning more often than losing.
The share saying they feel like their side is losing politically has increased 7 percentage points since last year and 16 points since early 2020.
The change in the last year has come among members of both parties. Today, about eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (81%) say they feel that their side is losing more often than winning politically, up from 74% who said this in 2021. In February 2020, with President Donald Trump in the White House, just 29% of Republicans said their side was losing more often than winning, while 69% said it was mostly winning.
Democrats, who currently control the White House and both houses of Congress, are more positive than Republicans about their political standing. Still, two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic leaners (66%) say their side is losing more than winning, up from 60% in 2021.
In early 2020, and at earlier points in Trump’s presidency, much larger majorities of Democrats said they felt like their side was losing more than winning. For example, 80% of Democrats said this in February 2020.
Today, just 15% of conservative Republicans say their side has been winning more often than losing, down from 76% in 2020. About two-in-ten moderate and liberal Republicans (21%) currently say they have been winning more often than losing, down from 58% in 2020. Views among both ideological groups for Republicans are roughly similar to what they were in 2016, when Barack Obama was president.
Among Democrats, about a third of conservatives and moderates (34%) say their side is winning more often than losing politically, and 29% of liberal Democrats say the same. Both groups of Democrats are more positive about how they are doing politically than they were during the Trump administration, but less positive than they were at the end of the Obama presidency, when about half said their side was winning more than it was losing.