Why the economy, not education, might be Republicans' midterm silver bullet

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Ever since governor-elect Glenn Youngkin's win in Virginia, there's been talk positioning education as the GOP's secret weapon in the 2022 midterm elections.

But according to new polling from Morning Consult, though Republicans have "made gains in voter trust on education," Democrats still have the edge on the issue — 45 percent of voters view Dems as the school party, while 38 percent favor a Republican approach. And though the left has lost ground on the issue, "it doesn't appear to be a catalyst for the broader declines in trust" Democrats are experiencing, reports Morning Consult, while noting that "public opinion and its electoral benefits" often swing away from the party in power.

On the other hand, however, Republicans have gained a "10-point trust advantage over Democrats on economic issues since January," meaning perhaps appealing to voters' economic concerns — rather than those pertaining to education — remains a better bet for the party. Recent polling found 39 percent of voters selected the economy as their top concern when voting for federal office; just 4 percent said education. To further underscore the potency of the talking point, 48 percent of voters said they trust Republicans on the economy, versus the 38 percent who backed the Democrats. And that trust margin grows even larger when looking at surburban voters, "who trust Republicans over Democrats on the economy by a 16-point margin, 51 percent to 35 percent."

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Morning Consult surveyed 1,998 voters from Nov. 5-7, 2021, and utilized the data alongside that of other similarly-sized polls conducted in 2021. All polls have a margin of error of 2 percentage points. See more results at Morning Consult.

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