Republicans have gained a slight edge over Democrats in the battle for control of Congress, as voters remain mainly concerned about the economy and inflation going into November's midterm elections, per a recent New York Times/Siena College poll.
The October poll shows that sentiments about Republican candidates have improved since the previous poll. Forty-nine percent of likely voters plan to vote for Republican congressional candidates compared to 45 percent who plan to vote for Democrats, the Times reports. This is a shift from September's results, in which Democrats had a 1-point lead.
Steady inflation and the stock market decline are fueling the concerns of likely voters who say that the state of the economy is the most critical issue Americans are facing. The percentage of voters focused on economic problems grew to 44 percent in October from 36 percent in July. Overall, the economy outweighs any other issues, and voters who are focused on the economy favor Republicans by over a 2-to-1 margin, per the Times.
The most significant shift in likely voters came from women who identified themselves as independents. In September's poll results, the group leaned toward Democrats with a 14-point lead. In the most recent poll, independent women voters said they would vote for Republican candidates with an 18-point lead.
The New York Times/Siena College poll surveyed 792 registered voters via cellular and landline phones from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12. The margin of error is +/- 4.0 percentage points for registered voters and +/- 4.1 percentage points for the likely electorate.