Fox News Voter Analysis: Democrats win the House, Republicans gain ground in the Senate

In an election reflecting the country’s deep partisan divide, voters across America handed the keys to the House of Representatives to the Democrats, while Republicans took advantage of a favorable Senate map to expand on their majority in the Senate. It was an unusual but not unprecedented outcome for a midterm election. The House and … Continue reading “Fox News Voter Analysis: Democrats win the House, Republicans gain ground in the Senate”

In an election reflecting the country’s deep partisan divide, voters across America handed the keys to the House of Representatives to the Democrats, while Republicans took advantage of a favorable Senate map to expand on their majority in the Senate.

It was an unusual but not unprecedented outcome for a midterm election. The House and Senate have moved in opposite directions in a midterm just three times since World War II. The last time was 1982, when Democrats gained 27 seats in the House and Republicans picked up one in the Senate.

CLICK FOR THE FULL FOX NEWS VOTER ANALYSIS

Democrats picked up more than 30 House seats, gaining control of the lower chamber for the first time since the party’s self-described “shellacking” in 2010. The vote – at least for the House – served as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, as more said their vote was intended to express opposition to Trump than support for him.

The battle for the Senate was largely fought in states Trump won in 2016 and where voters still have a favorable opinion of the president. Those tailwinds were critical for the GOP, which expanded on its majority in the upper chamber.

The gender gap – a prominent feature of the last several elections – was a notable factor in this year’s House races as well. Women preferred Democratic candidates by a 14-point margin, while men picked Republicans by six points.

College-educated women (+26 points) and suburban women (+17 points) both went strongly for Democrats, but white women backed Republicans by a four-point margin.

The urban-rural divide was even more notable, as city dwellers backed Democrats by 34 points, while rural voters went for Republicans (+16 points).

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A strong showing from younger voters and nonwhites also helped tip the scales to the left. Voters under age 30 made up 12 percent of the electorate, and they backed Democrats by 25 points.

Democratic candidates also racked up large margins among black voters (+79 points) and Hispanics (+29 points).

White voters broke for Republicans, 53-42 percent. In particular, the GOP held double-digit advantages with white working-class voters (+21 points), white men (+19 points), and whites over age 45 (+17 points).

Republican candidates also chalked up wide wins among gun owner households (+22 points), white evangelicals (+61 points), and conservatives (+72 points). But strong base support was not enough for Republicans to hold the House, as moderates favored Democrats, 57-35 percent.

Nearly all Democrats (95 percent) voted blue, while Republicans went red at a slightly lower clip (91 percent). That difference in party loyalty, combined with a 9-point Democratic edge among independents, proved decisive.

The Key Issues

The top issues in voters’ minds this election were health care (26 percent) and immigration (23 percent). The economy placed third at 19 percent.

Health care voters favored House Democratic candidates by a 50-point margin, and Democrats also had sizable advantages among those most concerned with gun policy (+61 points) and the environment (+72 points). Republicans won immigration voters by a wide margin (+58 points) and economy voters by a narrower 58-36 percent spread.

Just over half of voters (52 percent) would repeal all or part of the Affordable Care Act, and these voters broke for Republicans by 56 points. Nearly as many would either leave the law as is (13 percent) or expand it (34 percent). They backed Democrats by an even wider margin (+73 points).

Overall, more voters said it should be the government’s responsibility to provide health care for all Americans (58 percent) than said it should not (41 percent).

The president focused on immigration down the home stretch of the campaign, and immigration voters broke for Republicans. But overall, voters were more likely to think immigrants help the country (59 percent) than hurt it (39 percent), and more opposed Trump’s signature border wall proposal (47 percent favor vs. 52 percent oppose).

By a 39-point margin, voters believed immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, not deported.

The focus on immigration may have shifted attention away from the economy. Strong October jobs numbers brought unemployment to its lowest level in nearly 50 years, and voters were more likely to give positive ratings on the economy than negative ones.

Those who gave a positive grade to the economy opted for Republicans (+24 points), while voters with a negative view broke for Democrats (+56 points).

Despite the strong economy, a majority of voters – 63 percent – said they are holding steady financially, far more than the 20 percent who are getting ahead.

Seven-in-ten voters (70 percent) said the country’s economic system favors the wealthy too much. A similar number said the economy does not do enough to favor the middle class (69 percent) or the poor (63 percent).

Reactions to Trump’s economic accomplishments were mixed. The 2017 tax reform law were evenly split (48 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove), but more voters thought Trump’s policies on trade have hurt the national economy (48 percent) than helped it (40 percent).

The bitter battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was, without a doubt, a motivating factor for voters. Three-quarters (74 percent) said the debate was important to their decision to vote. Nationally, these voters backed Democrats by a 52-43 percent spread – but broke for the Republican in several hotly contested Senate races.

The dramatic nomination hearings amplified the national conversation about sexual misconduct. In the aftermath, voters expressed concern about women not being believed when making allegations of misconduct (43 percent very concerned) and about men not having the opportunity to defend themselves (38 percent).

Opinions of Donald Trump

Midterm elections are often seen as referendums on the sitting president, and fully 63 percent said Trump was a factor to their vote this year. By an eleven-point margin, more said they voted to express opposition to Trump than support for him.

That tracks with views of Trump nationally, as a 54-45 percent majority disapproved of the job he is doing as president.

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The vast majority of Trump approvers voted for Republican House candidates (86 percent), and a similar number of disapprovers went for Democrats (83 percent).

Trump’s midterm report card on the issues might not be one to pin on the fridge. Voters gave net negative ratings on his handling of health care (-16 points), immigration (-8 points), international trade (-7 points), and Supreme Court nominations (-1 points). He was in positive territory on the economy (+8 points) and border security (+1 point).

On the list of positives for the Commander-in-Chief, an overwhelming majority said he stands up for what he believes in (72 percent). However, majorities also indicated he lacks the temperament for the job (64 percent), is not honest and trustworthy (62 percent), and does not care about people like them (58 percent).

What does all that mean for his reelection prospects? With two full years before the next presidential election, more voters said they would back a Democrat (41 percent) than would back Trump (34 percent). But a sizable bloc said it would depend (24 percent), and those voters broke for Republican House candidates 50-35 percent.

Mood of the country

Democrats’ win in the House came as large numbers of voters expressed concern about the future. A majority (56 percent) said the country is headed in the wrong direction, and voters thought life for the next generation would be worse rather than better by 25 points.

Pre-election violence and disorder likely contributed to the feeling that things are off the rails. Voters said the way partisans on both sides talk about politics is leading to an increase in violence. However, 37 percent only blamed Republicans, compared to 30 percent who only blamed Democrats.

The depths of the partisan divide go even deeper. Just 13 percent of Republicans thought Democrats mostly try to do what’s right for the country instead of what’s best for their party. Democrats took a similar view of Republicans (11 percent). Independents gave Democrats slightly more credit than Republicans for trying to do the right thing (39-35 percent) – but did not have a particularly charitable view of either side.

One area of bipartisan agreement: only two-in-ten voters (19 percent) said they trust the government to do what’s right most of the time. That explains why more than seven-in-ten (71 percent) were either dissatisfied or angry about the way the federal government is working.

Nonvoters

The election outcome depends on who turns out, as well as who stays home.  So what about those who didn’t cast a ballot this year? Unlike a traditional exit poll, the Fox News Voter Analysis surveyed nonvoters as well, and provides a window into who decided not to vote, why not, and how they would have voted if they had turned out.

Demographically, nonvoters were more likely to be younger, nonwhite, without a college education, and politically independent.

Nonvoters were also more likely to have voted for Trump in 2016 (47 percent for the president and 33 percent for Clinton), suggesting that Trump voters were more likely to stay home this year than Clinton voters.

If they had made it to the ballot box, the overall group of nonvoters said they would have opted for the Democratic candidate in their district by a 36-32 percent margin.

As for why they didn’t vote, the top reasons were not knowing enough about the candidates (30 percent), not liking politics (30 percent), and the feeling that their vote did not matter (14 percent).

While voter identification laws became a flash point in several campaigns, most notably in the contest for governor in Georgia, just three percent of nonvoters said they did not vote because they lacked the proper identification.

Florida

The Sunshine State – also known as the home of close contests. Trump won in 2016 by a little over 1 percentage point. In 2012, Obama won by slightly less than 1 percentage point. And who could forget 2000, when George W. Bush won by a hanging chad?

Tonight, Republicans eked out two close wins. In the race for governor, former U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis edged out Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. And in the Senate, former Governor Rick Scott unseated incumbent Bill Nelson.

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President Trump was not on the ballot, but voters used their votes to send a message. Two-thirds (65 percent) said the president was a factor in the race for Senate, but he may not like the effect he had on it, as more voted in opposition to Trump than in support of him (36 percent to 29 percent). Nine-in-ten voters (91 percent) had the eventual control of the senate on their minds.

Florida voters differed on the top issue facing the country. Roughly a quarter said immigration (26 percent) was the top issue, and another quarter cited health care (24 percent). The economy came in third, at 17 percent. Health care voters broke three-to-one for Nelson; 80% of immigration voters went for Scott; economy voters went two-to-one for Scott.

Gun policy was selected by 10 percent.

Gun violence has rocked Florida repeatedly, including the Pulse nightclub shooting, Parkland, and most recently a shooting at a yoga studio. Fully 68 percent want stricter gun laws. These voters must feel Governor Scott did not do enough here, as 68 percent of them went for Nelson.

Both candidates had a record on healthcare: Nelson voted against repealing ObamaCare, while Scott declined to expand Medicaid as governor. Like the candidates, voters differed on repealing the Affordable Care Act: 54 percent favored repeal and 45 percent wanted to leave it as is or expand the law.

Most Florida voters (67 percent) felt immigrants living in the U.S. should be given a path to citizenship. Far fewer (31 percent) said illegal immigrants should be deported back to the country them came from. A majority also said immigrants do more to help the country; few felt they hurt.

Hispanic voters, a sizeable group whose support was sought by both parties, went narrowly for Nelson (51-44 percent). Seniors broke for Scott. Young people, a smaller percentage of the electorate than seniors, sided with Nelson.

Indiana

In Indiana, Republican challenger Mike Braun flipped the Senate seat held by Democrat Joe Donnelly in a state President Trump carried by 19 points in 2016.

Women voters were expected to have an impact in these midterm elections, but for Braun it was men who made a difference. Men and women each made up half of the Indiana electorate, but men went for Braun 55 percent to 40 percent.

Women went narrowly for Braun as well, with 49 percent to Donnelly’s 46 percent.

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Independents were also expected to play a key role in tight races like Indiana’s, but in this case they went for the losing candidate. Republicans, however, made up a larger share of the electorate – 54 percent, compared to 33 percent for Democrats and 13 percent for Independents. And those voters went for Braun.

The debate over the Kavanaugh nomination to the Supreme Court was important to 77 percent of Indiana voters, and among those voters 54 percent went for Braun over 44 percent for Donnelly.

Missouri

Democrat Claire McCaskill lost her Senate seat to Republican challenger Josh Hawley. In a state President Trump carried by 18 points in 2016, McCaskill’s attempts to distance herself from far-left elements of the Democratic party in the final weeks of the campaign turned out not to be enough.

President Trump told voters to act as though he were on the ballot, and Missouri voters took that to heart. Fifty-four percent of them approve of the job he is doing – and they broke big for Hawley, 87 percent of them.

Among the top issues for Missouri voters was the economy, and more than two-thirds of them are feeling pretty good about it. Those voters broke for Hawley 65 percent to 31 percent for McCaskill.

The Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination was also an important issue to 74 percent of Missouri voters. Those voters broke for Hawley by a five point margin.

Texas

Incumbent Republican senator Ted Cruz held his seat after a bruising battle with Democrat Beto O’Rourke. The two men represented opposite ends of the political spectrum. Fully half said O’Rourke’s positions on the issues were too liberal.

O’Rourke was for expanding ObamaCare; Cruz staged the infamous 2013 filibuster during the Senate debate on the Affordable Care Act, and voted to repeal it. Texas voters agreed with Cruz: a strong majority, 57 percent, favor repealing all or parts of that law and they gave Cruz 78 percent of their votes.

A narrow majority of Texans backed the president’s plan for a border wall, and these voters gave Cruz 90 percent of their votes. Ten percent of anti-wall voters backed Cruz as well. Fifty-five percent approve of the job Trump has done on border security.

Half the households in Texas reported owning guns. Cruz, a gun-rights supporter, garnered support from 58 percent of gun households. O’Rourke, who ran on universal background checks, was supported by 39 percent.

Party control of the senate was very important to three-quarters of Texans. These voters broke slightly for Cruz.

Hispanics were almost one-quarter of the electorate. They strongly favored O’Rourke, 67 percent to 29 percent. White men, about one-third of the voters, went for Cruz 70 percent to 28 percent. Voters in small towns and rural areas favored Cruz, too, 61 percent to 36 percent.

Methodology

The FNVA is a survey of the American electorate conducted in all 50 states by NORC at the University of Chicago for Fox News and The Associated Press. The survey of 116,789 voters and 22,137 nonvoters was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding at the end of voting on Election Day. It combines interviews in English and Spanish with a probability sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files, samples of self-identified registered voters from a probability-based national panel, and samples of self-identified registered voters from opt-in online panels. Participants selected from state voter files were contacted by phone and mail and had the opportunity to take the survey by phone or online.

Andrew Schwartz is a Director at Anderson Robbins Research, a Boston-based polling and political consulting firm.

Fox News Voter Analysis: Voters pleased with economy, divided on border wall

Nearly two-thirds of voters in Tuesday's midterm elections said the U.S. economy was in "excellent" or "good" shape, according to the Fox News Voter Analysis.

The survey showed 65 percent of voters had a positive view of the economy, compared to 34 percent with a negative view. Despite that, about 6 in 10 voters said the country is heading in the wrong direction, while around 4 in 10 said it's on the right track.

Voters were more sharply divided on President Trump's long-promised plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, with 46 percent in favor of the proposal and 53 percent opposing it. About 6 in 10 voters said it should be the responsibility of the federal government to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage.

Those who went to the polls on Election Day were nearly evenly split about the fate of ObamaCare, with 51 percent wanting to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act and 48 percent wanting to either keep the law as it is or expand it. A narrow plurality (27 percent) of voters saw health care as the most important issue facing the country in these midterms, followed by immigration (23 percent). Smaller shares considered the economy (19 percent), gun policy (8 percent) and the environment (7 percent) to be the top issue.

Those who voted for a Democratic House candidate were more likely to say health care was their top issue, while those who voted for a Republican were more likely to name immigration.

Despite division on many issues, a whopping 81 percent of national voters said they didn't trust the federal government. Just 19 percent said they did.

The analysis, conducted in partnership with the Associated Press, is based on surveys conducted in all 50 states by NORC at the University of Chicago, as well as actual voting results by county, as collected by the AP. The survey of 113,677 voters and 21,599 nonvoters was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton and Shannon Bream and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fox News Poll: Republicans make gains in top Senate races

A new round of Fox News battleground polls shows a Republican trend in the fight for the U.S. Senate. The GOP candidates are helped by increased interest in the election among Republicans and pro-Donald Trump sentiment.

There’s been an uptick in GOP interest in all five states surveyed.  Compared to early September, the number of Republicans feeling “extremely” interested in the upcoming election is up by 2 points in Arizona, up by 9 points in Indiana, up 8 points in both Missouri and North Dakota, and up 11 points in Tennessee.  In each state, Republicans are now just as likely as Democrats to say they are extremely interested — erasing an edge Democrats had in several states last month.

The battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court might explain increased interest in the election among Republicans.  And how incumbent Senate Democrats vote on Kavanaugh could tip tight races, especially in Missouri and North Dakota.  Voting against his nomination hurts more than helps the Democrats in those states.

However, the races are far from settled.

Only one of the Senate candidates has a lead outside the survey’s margin of sampling error.  And that same candidate is also the only front-runner above the important marker of 50 percent support from their electorate.

Starting with Arizona, here are the state-by-state results:

Arizona
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema tops Republican Martha McSally by a 47-45 percent margin in the Senate race to fill the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Last month, Sinema was up 47-44 percent (September 8-11).

Sinema is helped by strong backing among women (+9 points), voters under age 45 (+14) and Hispanics (+29).  She also enjoys greater party loyalty, as 91 percent of Democrats back her vs. 83 percent of Republicans for McSally.

READ THE COMPLETE ARIZONA POLL RESULTS.

However, McSally’s overall support is stronger, with 83 percent of her backers saying they are certain to vote for her compared to 71 percent of Sinema’s.

Veterans prefer McSally, a retired Air Force pilot, by a 25-point margin.  In addition, she leads among white voters (+5) and voters over age 45 (+4).

The two candidates are about equally liked.  For Sinema, 48 percent have a favorable opinion vs. 41 percent unfavorable.  For McSally, it’s 46-45 percent.

President Trump won Arizona by nearly four percentage points in 2016.  That’s in line with his current job rating, as 51 percent of the state’s likely voters approve, while 47 percent disapprove.

Indiana
Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly tops Republican challenger Mike Braun by two points (43-41 percent), while Libertarian Lucy Brenton takes 6 percent.  Eight percent are undecided.

That’s a reversal from early September, when Braun had a two-point edge (45-43 percent).

Men are more likely to back Braun by a 9-point margin, while women pick Donnelly by 11.

READ THE COMPLETE INDIANA POLL RESULTS.

Voters with a college degree support Donnelly by 10 points, while those without a degree go for Braun by 3 points. 

Strength of support is about equal: 77 percent of Braun’s backers say they are certain to vote for him.  It’s 74 percent for Donnelly. 

If Donnelly votes against Kavanaugh, 30 percent say it would make them more likely to vote for him, 32 percent say less likely, and 34 percent say no difference.

The Democrat announced he would vote against Kavanaugh on September 28, after Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that included testimony by Christine Blasey Ford on her sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

While Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 19 points in Indiana, today Hoosier voters approve of his job performance by just 6:  52 percent approve, while 46 percent disapprove.

Missouri

The Missouri Senate race is all tied up at 43 percent apiece for incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican challenger Josh Hawley, while other candidates garner 8 percent and six percent are undecided.  Three weeks ago, McCaskill was up 44-41 percent (September 8-11).

The survey also finds the race tied, 46-46 percent, in a hypothetical two-way matchup.

READ THE COMPLETE MISSOURI POLL RESULTS.

Suburban women (+15 points) and voters under age 45 (+6) are more likely to back McCaskill. 

The gender gap is somewhat diminished, as McCaskill’s advantage among women stands at 4 points, down from 9 points last month. 

Hawley has the edge among men (+5 points) and rural voters (+22).

About three-quarters of both McCaskill’s (75 percent) and Hawley’s supporters (74 percent) feel certain they will back their candidate. 

McCaskill announced she would vote against Kavanaugh September 19, a week before Kavanaugh and Ford testified.

Among the 28 percent of voters who say they could still switch candidates, almost twice as many say McCaskill voting against Kavanaugh’s confirmation would make them less inclined to back her. 

In general, voters have mixed views of both McCaskill (48 favorable vs. 48 unfavorable) and Hawley (47-45 percent).

The president remains popular in the Show-Me State: a majority of 54 percent approves of the job Trump is doing, while 45 percent disapprove.  He won Missouri by 19 points. 

North Dakota

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year, along with Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly.

The survey shows Heitkamp may be in the most difficult position, as Republican challenger Kevin Cramer now leads by 12 points (53-41 percent).  Last month, he was up by four (48-44 percent).

READ THE COMPLETE NORTH DAKOTA POLL RESULTS.

The shift comes mainly from declines in support for Heitkamp among women (was up by 7 points, now trails by 4), and voters with a college degree (was up by 7, now trails by 8). 

More Democrats back Heitkamp (94 percent) than Republicans back Cramer (87 percent), but in a state so red that Trump won by nearly 40 points, that isn’t enough. 

Strength of support is also with Cramer.  Nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of his supporters are sure of their vote, compared to 8 in 10 Heitkamp backers (79 percent).

Heitkamp remains undecided on Kavanaugh.  If she votes against his confirmation, twice as many say they would be less likely (34 percent) rather than more likely (17 percent) to vote for her. 

By a 64-35 percent margin, likely voters approve of the president.  That 29-point spread comes close to matching his 36-point margin of victory in 2016.

Meanwhile, Republican Kelly Armstrong (51 percent) leads Democrat Mac Schneider (34 percent) by 17 points for the state’s only House seat, which Cramer vacated to run for Senate.

Tennessee

The president held a rally Monday in Johnson City, Tennessee.  He won the state by 26 points, and voters there still love him.  Likely voters in the Volunteer State approve of Trump’s job performance by 60-39 percent.

READ THE COMPLETE TENNESSEE POLL RESULTS

That helps put Republican Marsha Blackburn ahead of Democrat Phil Bredesen by a 48-43 percent margin.  Blackburn’s 5-point advantage is inside the poll’s margin of error. 

Last month, she had a 3-point edge over Bredesen.  They are competing for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Women go for Bredesen by 5 points, while men are more likely to pick Blackburn by 17.  Among white men, her lead grows to 30 points. 

Bredesen stays in the game by garnering greater party loyalty (92 percent of Democrats back him compared to 82 percent of GOP for her), while also taking 10 percent of Republicans. 

About the same share of Bredesen (79 percent certain) and Blackburn (77 percent) supporters say they are certain to vote for them. 

Plus, roughly equal numbers have a positive view of both Blackburn (50 favorable vs. 41 unfavorable) and Bredesen (51-39 percent), who served as Tennessee’s governor from 2003 to 2011.

Governor Pollpourri

In the Arizona governor’s race, Republican incumbent Doug Ducey leads: 55 percent vs. 37 percent for Democrat David Garcia.  One in five of Sinema’s supporters (20 percent) split their ballot and back the Republican, Ducey, for governor.

By a 17-point margin, Tennessee likely voters back Republican Bill Lee (53 percent) over Democrat Karl Dean (36 percent) in the state’s gubernatorial race.  Fourteen percent of those backing Bredesen in the Senate race defect to support Lee, the Republican, for governor.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  The poll was conducted September 29-October 2, 2018 by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among likely voters in Arizona (716), Indiana (695), Missouri (683), North Dakota (704) and Tennessee (666).  Results based on the full sample in each state have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Registered voters were randomly selected from a statewide voter file (except in ND where all eligible voters were included), and respondents answered screening questions about their likelihood to vote in the November elections.

President Trump, health care drive midterm elections

Less than three weeks until Election Day, voters are thinking most about health care, the economy, and reining in President Trump — and Democratic candidates are benefitting.

Currently, 49 percent of likely voters back the Democratic candidate in their House district and 42 percent the Republican, according to a new Fox News national survey.  That 7-point lead is unchanged from last month, and just outside the poll’s margin of error.  Nine percent will vote for someone else or are undecided.

"If the election were today, the House would most likely flip," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the poll with Democrat Chris Anderson.  "Republicans keep waiting for the national numbers to tighten, but they have been remarkably stable this campaign season."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

Here's how we get there:

— Top issue: Health care.  While majorities of likely voters say the economy (54 percent) and President Trump (51 percent) will be "extremely" important to their House vote, more voters feel that way about health care (58 percent) — and that group prefers the Democratic candidate by a 24-point margin.  Meanwhile, a majority disapproves of how Trump is handling health care.

— Guardrails for Trump.  By a 53-41 percent margin, likely voters say having the next Congress be a check on the president is more important than helping Trump enact his policies.  In counties where the 2016 vote was close (Hillary Clinton and Trump within 10 points), a majority of 56 percent want a check on Trump, and Democrats lead the generic ballot in these counties by 12 points.

— Trump job performance.  The president’s job rating is underwater by 4 points (47-51 percent).  Trump gets net negative ratings on health care (-16 points), immigration (-14 points), Supreme Court nominees (-8), and border security and trade (both -7).  At a negative 22, race relations is his worst issue.  He receives positive marks for handling hurricanes (+2) and the economy (+6).

— The economy and family finances.  Fewer voters are confident in their personal financial future compared to 2015.  At that time, 73 percent felt certain.  Today, that’s 68 percent.  The ratings are highly partisan, as twice as many Republicans (41 percent) as Democrats (19 percent) feel “very” confident in their financial future.  Likewise, 73 percent of Republicans rate the economy positively, while 33 percent of Democrats agree.  Overall, views are mixed:  49 percent feel the economy is in excellent or good shape vs. 48 percent saying only fair or poor.

— Popularity contest.  More voters have a favorable view than an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party by 3 points, while the Republican Party rating is a net negative by 7 and President Trump is under water by 9.  The Me Too Movement rating is +16.

— Women.  There’s a wide gender gap, as women likely voters support the Democratic candidate by 18 points, while men back the Republican by 6.  Since 2016, white women have shifted from backing Trump by 9 points to backing the Democrat by 2 points today.  Democrats are up by 56 points among non-white women, by 35 points with women under age 45, and by 19 points among suburban women.

— GOP positions out of favor.  The only issue that draws clear support for the GOP candidate is border security, as those naming it as extremely important to their vote back the Republican by 23 points.  Seventy percent of likely voters favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently working in the U.S.  More like Obamacare (54 percent favorable) than the tax cut law (45 percent favorable) — plus health care (58 percent) is extremely important to more voters than taxes (44 percent) when it comes to their congressional vote.

— Kavanaugh.  Likely voters split over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court:  47 approve vs. 48 disapprove.  And the 46 percent saying Supreme Court nominations are extremely important to their vote are more likely to favor the Democrat by 7 points.

— Enthusiasm.  Voters who backed Clinton two years ago are more likely than Trump 2016 voters to say this election outcome is “extremely” important (by 14 points), more likely to be “extremely” interested (by 11 points), and also more likely than Trump voters to be motivated by enthusiasm for their candidate rather than by fear the other candidate might win (by 7 points).

— Motivation.  When asked to name what one issue will motivate them to vote this year (without the aid of a list), the top three mentioned by likely voters are health care (13 percent), reining in Trump (10), and the economy (9).  Next, it is Democrats getting control of Congress (8 percent), immigration reform (7), and border security (5).

— White voters.  Whites are more likely to back the GOP candidate by 8 points.  In 2014, they voted for the Republicans by 22 points.

— Certainty.  Groups with the largest number saying they are certain to vote include very conservatives (89 percent), voters ages 45+ (87), voters with a college degree (86), and suburban women (84).  Those with the lowest share certain to vote include Trump approvers (79 percent), voters without a college degree (77), and men under 45 (68).

Pollpourri

— Majorities of likely voters are “extremely” concerned about the affordability of health care (65 percent), denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions (62), and people losing health insurance (61).  Fewer say the same about a government takeover of health care (40).

"It's clear that every day the news is dominated by another political outrage or controversy is a missed opportunity for Democrats," says Anderson.  "Voters are broadly in agreement with Democrats on health care and the more focus on the issue the better for them."

— Two-thirds feel political correctness in this country has gone too far, including 82 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents, and 48 percent of Democrats.

— Overall, 51 percent feel extremely or very concerned political disagreements these days will lead to violence — and on that, roughly equal numbers of Democrats (52 percent) and Republicans (50 percent) agree.

— While ratings of Congress remain low, 23 percent approve, that’s up from 15 percent in January.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,007 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 13-16, 2018. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.  For the subgroup of 841 likely voters, the margin of sampling error is also plus or minus three points.

Fox News Poll: Trump approval remains high in Senate battleground states

A new round of Fox News battleground state polls proves we don’t call them battlegrounds for nothing.  With six days until the election, three of the five U.S. Senate races could go either way — and while Republicans hold leads in the other two, Democratic enthusiasm could still close the gap.

President Trump’s approval rating is at or above 50 percent in all.  Yet in only two, North Dakota and Tennessee, does a GOP Senate candidate hit 50 percent support.

In two other states, Arizona and Missouri, the candidates are tied.  The race in Indiana has reversed since early September — however, one in five voters there who currently back a candidate say they may still change their mind.

No doubt, there will still be movement during the campaign’s final days.

Here are the state-by-state results, starting with Arizona:

Arizona

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally tie at 46 percent apiece among Arizona likely voters.  Sinema was up by two points in early October and by three in September.

Hispanics prefer Sinema by 29 points, while rural whites favor McSally by 27.

CLICK FOR FULL ARIZONA POLL RESULTS

"Sinema's nearly two-to-one advantage among Hispanics means slightly higher Hispanic turnout than in the past could tip the race to the Democrat — but the data doesn’t suggest a surge,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News surveys with Republican Daron Shaw.

The survey finds the number of Hispanic voters extremely interested in the election trails interest among non-Hispanic whites by 15 points.

Both Sinema (88 percent) and McSally supporters (88 percent) have a high degree of vote certainty, and equal numbers of Democrats (50 percent) and Republicans (50 percent) are extremely interested in the election.

Ninety-three percent of Democrats back Sinema, while 85 percent of Republicans support McSally.   More Arizona voters identify as Republican than as Democrat by 10 points.

Five percent are still undecided about their vote in the Senate race.

The candidates are competing for the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

Trump won Arizona by nearly four points.  Currently, 52 percent of Arizona likely voters approve of the job he is doing, and 81 percent of Trump approvers are for McSally.

In the governor’s race, Republican incumbent Doug Ducey leads Democrat David Garcia by a comfortable 55-37 percent.

Indiana

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly bests Republican challenger Mike Braun by seven points among Indiana likely voters, 45-38 percent.  His lead is at the poll’s margin of error.  The race shifted since September when Braun was up by two points.  In early October, Donnelly was up by two.

Donnelly’s edge comes in large part from greater party loyalty and higher interest in the election among Democrats.  Fully 88 percent of Democrats back him vs. 80 percent of Republicans for Braun.  In addition, nearly 1 in 10 Republicans go for Donnelly.  Independents are about twice as likely to support the incumbent.

CLICK FOR FULL INDIANA POLL RESULTS

More Democrats (49 percent) than Republicans (43 percent) are extremely interested in the race.

Eighty-three percent of Donnelly supporters and 80 percent of Braun supporters feel certain of their vote choice.

Nine percent of Indiana likely voters are undecided.  Libertarian Lucy Breton takes five percent and that could be a wild card.

"Republican voters who flirt with Libertarian candidates tend to come home to the Republican candidate in the last few days,” says Shaw.

He adds, “Donnelly being under 50 percent bodes well for the less well-known challenger."

While Trump won Indiana by 19 points, more voters currently approve (50 percent) than disapprove (48 percent) of the job he is doing by just 2.  In early September, more approved than disapproved by 10 (54-44 percent).

Missouri

The Missouri Senate race is a toss-up.  Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger Josh Hawley tie at 43 percent apiece.

Another four percent support another candidate, and nine percent are undecided.

CLICK FOR FULL MISSOURI POLL RESULTS

The race was also tied, 43-43 percent, at the beginning of October.

McCaskill has a 10-point advantage in party support:  93 percent of Democrats back her compared to 83 percent of Republicans going for Hawley.  The preference among independents splits.

Men break for Hawley by four points.  Women favor McCaskill by three.

Whites with a college degree support McCaskill by 6 points, while whites without a degree go for Hawley by 16.

More Democrats than Republicans are extremely interested in the election (55 vs. 48 percent respectively).

The candidates also tie in a hypothetical two-way matchup: 45-45 percent.

Among the subgroup of extremely interested voters, Hawley is up by three points in the two-way matchup, while McCaskill is up by one point in the expansive ballot.

Fifty-four percent of Missouri likely voters approve of Trump’s job performance, which nearly matches his 57 percent of the vote in 2016.

Tennessee

Republican Marsha Blackburn is pulling away from Democrat Phil Bredesen in the race to fill retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker’s seat.

She is preferred 50-41 percent over the former governor among Tennessee likely voters.  That 9-point lead is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.  She was up by five points in early October.

CLICK FOR FULL TENNESSEE POLL RESULTS

Blackburn’s advantage comes despite more Democrats (55 percent) than Republicans (48 percent) being extremely interested in the election — as well as greater party loyalty among Democrats.  Fully 92 percent of Democrats back Bredesen vs. 87 percent of Republicans supporting Blackburn.

It helps Blackburn that more Tennesseans identify as Republicans by a nearly 20-point margin.

There is a 35-point gender gap: women back Bredesen by 7 points and men support Blackburn by 28.

Eighty-eight percent of each candidate’s backers feel certain they will stick with their pick.

Trump remains popular in the Volunteer State.  He won 61 percent of the vote here, and 58 percent approve of his job performance.

In the Tennessee governor’s race, Republican Bill Lee leads Democrat Karl Dean by 54-37 percent.  Eleven percent of those backing Bredesen cross party lines to support Lee.

North Dakota

Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp trails Republican Kevin Cramer by nine points.  Cramer garners 51 percent to Heitkamp’s 42 percent among North Dakota likely voters.

In early October, Cramer had a 12-point lead (53-41 percent).  Even though the race has narrowed a bit, it is the second time the Fox News poll shows him above 50 percent.

Cramer’s lead is outside the margin of error.

CLICK FOR FULL NORTH DAKOTA POLL RESULTS

In a state that went for Trump by 36 points, Heitkamp is able to keep the race as close as it is thanks to greater support among Democrats.

Ninety-four percent of Democrats back Heitkamp.  Support for Cramer among Republicans stands at 85 percent.  The vote preference among independents goes in Heitkamp’s favor by a narrow three points.

Many more North Dakotans identify as Republican than as Democrat.

There is a 22-point gender gap, as Heitkamp is the choice for women by 1 point and men go for Cramer by 21.

By a 5-point margin, more Democrats (56 percent) than Republicans (51 percent) feel extremely interested in the election.

Among Cramer supporters, 92 percent feel sure they will vote for him, while 88 percent of Heitkamp supporters say the same.

Four percent are undecided about their Senate vote, and eight percent who currently support a candidate feel they could change their mind.

Heitkamp outperforms the other Democrat on the ballot this year.  Mac Schneider is running against Republican Kelly Armstrong to take the state’s lone House seat vacated by Cramer.  Armstrong leads by 55-33 percent.

Sixty-one percent of North Dakota likely voters approve of the job Trump is doing.  He won 63 percent of the vote in 2016.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  The poll was conducted October 27-30, 2018 by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among likely voters in Indiana (722), Missouri (741), North Dakota (789) and Tennessee (718).  Results based on the full sample of likely voters in each state except North Dakota have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  ND is plus or minus three points.  Registered voters were randomly selected from a statewide voter file (except in ND where all eligible voters were included), and respondents answered screening questions about their likelihood to vote in the November elections.  For Arizona, it is October 27-29 and 643 likely voters, plus or minus 3.5 points.

Fox News Poll: Republicans make gains in top Senate races

A new round of Fox News battleground polls shows a Republican trend in the fight for the U.S. Senate. The GOP candidates are helped by increased interest in the election among Republicans and pro-Donald Trump sentiment.

There’s been an uptick in GOP interest in all five states surveyed.  Compared to early September, the number of Republicans feeling “extremely” interested in the upcoming election is up by 2 points in Arizona, up by 9 points in Indiana, up 8 points in both Missouri and North Dakota, and up 11 points in Tennessee.  In each state, Republicans are now just as likely as Democrats to say they are extremely interested — erasing an edge Democrats had in several states last month.

The battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court might explain increased interest in the election among Republicans.  And how incumbent Senate Democrats vote on Kavanaugh could tip tight races, especially in Missouri and North Dakota.  Voting against his nomination hurts more than helps the Democrats in those states.

However, the races are far from settled.

Only one of the Senate candidates has a lead outside the survey’s margin of sampling error.  And that same candidate is also the only front-runner above the important marker of 50 percent support from their electorate.

Starting with Arizona, here are the state-by-state results:

Arizona
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema tops Republican Martha McSally by a 47-45 percent margin in the Senate race to fill the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Last month, Sinema was up 47-44 percent (September 8-11).

Sinema is helped by strong backing among women (+9 points), voters under age 45 (+14) and Hispanics (+29).  She also enjoys greater party loyalty, as 91 percent of Democrats back her vs. 83 percent of Republicans for McSally.

READ THE COMPLETE ARIZONA POLL RESULTS.

However, McSally’s overall support is stronger, with 83 percent of her backers saying they are certain to vote for her compared to 71 percent of Sinema’s.

Veterans prefer McSally, a retired Air Force pilot, by a 25-point margin.  In addition, she leads among white voters (+5) and voters over age 45 (+4).

The two candidates are about equally liked.  For Sinema, 48 percent have a favorable opinion vs. 41 percent unfavorable.  For McSally, it’s 46-45 percent.

President Trump won Arizona by nearly four percentage points in 2016.  That’s in line with his current job rating, as 51 percent of the state’s likely voters approve, while 47 percent disapprove.

Indiana
Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly tops Republican challenger Mike Braun by two points (43-41 percent), while Libertarian Lucy Brenton takes 6 percent.  Eight percent are undecided.

That’s a reversal from early September, when Braun had a two-point edge (45-43 percent).

Men are more likely to back Braun by a 9-point margin, while women pick Donnelly by 11.

READ THE COMPLETE INDIANA POLL RESULTS.

Voters with a college degree support Donnelly by 10 points, while those without a degree go for Braun by 3 points. 

Strength of support is about equal: 77 percent of Braun’s backers say they are certain to vote for him.  It’s 74 percent for Donnelly. 

If Donnelly votes against Kavanaugh, 30 percent say it would make them more likely to vote for him, 32 percent say less likely, and 34 percent say no difference.

The Democrat announced he would vote against Kavanaugh on September 28, after Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that included testimony by Christine Blasey Ford on her sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

While Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 19 points in Indiana, today Hoosier voters approve of his job performance by just 6:  52 percent approve, while 46 percent disapprove.

Missouri

The Missouri Senate race is all tied up at 43 percent apiece for incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican challenger Josh Hawley, while other candidates garner 8 percent and six percent are undecided.  Three weeks ago, McCaskill was up 44-41 percent (September 8-11).

The survey also finds the race tied, 46-46 percent, in a hypothetical two-way matchup.

READ THE COMPLETE MISSOURI POLL RESULTS.

Suburban women (+15 points) and voters under age 45 (+6) are more likely to back McCaskill. 

The gender gap is somewhat diminished, as McCaskill’s advantage among women stands at 4 points, down from 9 points last month. 

Hawley has the edge among men (+5 points) and rural voters (+22).

About three-quarters of both McCaskill’s (75 percent) and Hawley’s supporters (74 percent) feel certain they will back their candidate. 

McCaskill announced she would vote against Kavanaugh September 19, a week before Kavanaugh and Ford testified.

Among the 28 percent of voters who say they could still switch candidates, almost twice as many say McCaskill voting against Kavanaugh’s confirmation would make them less inclined to back her. 

In general, voters have mixed views of both McCaskill (48 favorable vs. 48 unfavorable) and Hawley (47-45 percent).

The president remains popular in the Show-Me State: a majority of 54 percent approves of the job Trump is doing, while 45 percent disapprove.  He won Missouri by 19 points. 

North Dakota

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year, along with Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly.

The survey shows Heitkamp may be in the most difficult position, as Republican challenger Kevin Cramer now leads by 12 points (53-41 percent).  Last month, he was up by four (48-44 percent).

READ THE COMPLETE NORTH DAKOTA POLL RESULTS.

The shift comes mainly from declines in support for Heitkamp among women (was up by 7 points, now trails by 4), and voters with a college degree (was up by 7, now trails by 8). 

More Democrats back Heitkamp (94 percent) than Republicans back Cramer (87 percent), but in a state so red that Trump won by nearly 40 points, that isn’t enough. 

Strength of support is also with Cramer.  Nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of his supporters are sure of their vote, compared to 8 in 10 Heitkamp backers (79 percent).

Heitkamp remains undecided on Kavanaugh.  If she votes against his confirmation, twice as many say they would be less likely (34 percent) rather than more likely (17 percent) to vote for her. 

By a 64-35 percent margin, likely voters approve of the president.  That 29-point spread comes close to matching his 36-point margin of victory in 2016.

Meanwhile, Republican Kelly Armstrong (51 percent) leads Democrat Mac Schneider (34 percent) by 17 points for the state’s only House seat, which Cramer vacated to run for Senate.

Tennessee

The president held a rally Monday in Johnson City, Tennessee.  He won the state by 26 points, and voters there still love him.  Likely voters in the Volunteer State approve of Trump’s job performance by 60-39 percent.

READ THE COMPLETE TENNESSEE POLL RESULTS

That helps put Republican Marsha Blackburn ahead of Democrat Phil Bredesen by a 48-43 percent margin.  Blackburn’s 5-point advantage is inside the poll’s margin of error. 

Last month, she had a 3-point edge over Bredesen.  They are competing for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Women go for Bredesen by 5 points, while men are more likely to pick Blackburn by 17.  Among white men, her lead grows to 30 points. 

Bredesen stays in the game by garnering greater party loyalty (92 percent of Democrats back him compared to 82 percent of GOP for her), while also taking 10 percent of Republicans. 

About the same share of Bredesen (79 percent certain) and Blackburn (77 percent) supporters say they are certain to vote for them. 

Plus, roughly equal numbers have a positive view of both Blackburn (50 favorable vs. 41 unfavorable) and Bredesen (51-39 percent), who served as Tennessee’s governor from 2003 to 2011.

Governor Pollpourri

In the Arizona governor’s race, Republican incumbent Doug Ducey leads: 55 percent vs. 37 percent for Democrat David Garcia.  One in five of Sinema’s supporters (20 percent) split their ballot and back the Republican, Ducey, for governor.

By a 17-point margin, Tennessee likely voters back Republican Bill Lee (53 percent) over Democrat Karl Dean (36 percent) in the state’s gubernatorial race.  Fourteen percent of those backing Bredesen in the Senate race defect to support Lee, the Republican, for governor.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  The poll was conducted September 29-October 2, 2018 by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among likely voters in Arizona (716), Indiana (695), Missouri (683), North Dakota (704) and Tennessee (666).  Results based on the full sample in each state have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Registered voters were randomly selected from a statewide voter file (except in ND where all eligible voters were included), and respondents answered screening questions about their likelihood to vote in the November elections.

President Trump, health care drive midterm elections

Less than three weeks until Election Day, voters are thinking most about health care, the economy, and reining in President Trump — and Democratic candidates are benefitting.

Currently, 49 percent of likely voters back the Democratic candidate in their House district and 42 percent the Republican, according to a new Fox News national survey.  That 7-point lead is unchanged from last month, and just outside the poll’s margin of error.  Nine percent will vote for someone else or are undecided.

"If the election were today, the House would most likely flip," says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the poll with Democrat Chris Anderson.  "Republicans keep waiting for the national numbers to tighten, but they have been remarkably stable this campaign season."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

Here's how we get there:

— Top issue: Health care.  While majorities of likely voters say the economy (54 percent) and President Trump (51 percent) will be "extremely" important to their House vote, more voters feel that way about health care (58 percent) — and that group prefers the Democratic candidate by a 24-point margin.  Meanwhile, a majority disapproves of how Trump is handling health care.

— Guardrails for Trump.  By a 53-41 percent margin, likely voters say having the next Congress be a check on the president is more important than helping Trump enact his policies.  In counties where the 2016 vote was close (Hillary Clinton and Trump within 10 points), a majority of 56 percent want a check on Trump, and Democrats lead the generic ballot in these counties by 12 points.

— Trump job performance.  The president’s job rating is underwater by 4 points (47-51 percent).  Trump gets net negative ratings on health care (-16 points), immigration (-14 points), Supreme Court nominees (-8), and border security and trade (both -7).  At a negative 22, race relations is his worst issue.  He receives positive marks for handling hurricanes (+2) and the economy (+6).

— The economy and family finances.  Fewer voters are confident in their personal financial future compared to 2015.  At that time, 73 percent felt certain.  Today, that’s 68 percent.  The ratings are highly partisan, as twice as many Republicans (41 percent) as Democrats (19 percent) feel “very” confident in their financial future.  Likewise, 73 percent of Republicans rate the economy positively, while 33 percent of Democrats agree.  Overall, views are mixed:  49 percent feel the economy is in excellent or good shape vs. 48 percent saying only fair or poor.

— Popularity contest.  More voters have a favorable view than an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party by 3 points, while the Republican Party rating is a net negative by 7 and President Trump is under water by 9.  The Me Too Movement rating is +16.

— Women.  There’s a wide gender gap, as women likely voters support the Democratic candidate by 18 points, while men back the Republican by 6.  Since 2016, white women have shifted from backing Trump by 9 points to backing the Democrat by 2 points today.  Democrats are up by 56 points among non-white women, by 35 points with women under age 45, and by 19 points among suburban women.

— GOP positions out of favor.  The only issue that draws clear support for the GOP candidate is border security, as those naming it as extremely important to their vote back the Republican by 23 points.  Seventy percent of likely voters favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently working in the U.S.  More like Obamacare (54 percent favorable) than the tax cut law (45 percent favorable) — plus health care (58 percent) is extremely important to more voters than taxes (44 percent) when it comes to their congressional vote.

— Kavanaugh.  Likely voters split over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court:  47 approve vs. 48 disapprove.  And the 46 percent saying Supreme Court nominations are extremely important to their vote are more likely to favor the Democrat by 7 points.

— Enthusiasm.  Voters who backed Clinton two years ago are more likely than Trump 2016 voters to say this election outcome is “extremely” important (by 14 points), more likely to be “extremely” interested (by 11 points), and also more likely than Trump voters to be motivated by enthusiasm for their candidate rather than by fear the other candidate might win (by 7 points).

— Motivation.  When asked to name what one issue will motivate them to vote this year (without the aid of a list), the top three mentioned by likely voters are health care (13 percent), reining in Trump (10), and the economy (9).  Next, it is Democrats getting control of Congress (8 percent), immigration reform (7), and border security (5).

— White voters.  Whites are more likely to back the GOP candidate by 8 points.  In 2014, they voted for the Republicans by 22 points.

— Certainty.  Groups with the largest number saying they are certain to vote include very conservatives (89 percent), voters ages 45+ (87), voters with a college degree (86), and suburban women (84).  Those with the lowest share certain to vote include Trump approvers (79 percent), voters without a college degree (77), and men under 45 (68).

Pollpourri

— Majorities of likely voters are “extremely” concerned about the affordability of health care (65 percent), denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions (62), and people losing health insurance (61).  Fewer say the same about a government takeover of health care (40).

"It's clear that every day the news is dominated by another political outrage or controversy is a missed opportunity for Democrats," says Anderson.  "Voters are broadly in agreement with Democrats on health care and the more focus on the issue the better for them."

— Two-thirds feel political correctness in this country has gone too far, including 82 percent of Republicans, 62 percent of independents, and 48 percent of Democrats.

— Overall, 51 percent feel extremely or very concerned political disagreements these days will lead to violence — and on that, roughly equal numbers of Democrats (52 percent) and Republicans (50 percent) agree.

— While ratings of Congress remain low, 23 percent approve, that’s up from 15 percent in January.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,007 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 13-16, 2018. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.  For the subgroup of 841 likely voters, the margin of sampling error is also plus or minus three points.

Fox News Poll: Trump approval remains high in Senate battleground states

A new round of Fox News battleground state polls proves we don’t call them battlegrounds for nothing.  With six days until the election, three of the five U.S. Senate races could go either way — and while Republicans hold leads in the other two, Democratic enthusiasm could still close the gap.

President Trump’s approval rating is at or above 50 percent in all.  Yet in only two, North Dakota and Tennessee, does a GOP Senate candidate hit 50 percent support.

In two other states, Arizona and Missouri, the candidates are tied.  The race in Indiana has reversed since early September — however, one in five voters there who currently back a candidate say they may still change their mind.

No doubt, there will still be movement during the campaign’s final days.

Here are the state-by-state results, starting with Arizona:

Arizona

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally tie at 46 percent apiece among Arizona likely voters.  Sinema was up by two points in early October and by three in September.

Hispanics prefer Sinema by 29 points, while rural whites favor McSally by 27.

CLICK FOR FULL ARIZONA POLL RESULTS

"Sinema's nearly two-to-one advantage among Hispanics means slightly higher Hispanic turnout than in the past could tip the race to the Democrat — but the data doesn’t suggest a surge,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News surveys with Republican Daron Shaw.

The survey finds the number of Hispanic voters extremely interested in the election trails interest among non-Hispanic whites by 15 points.

Both Sinema (88 percent) and McSally supporters (88 percent) have a high degree of vote certainty, and equal numbers of Democrats (50 percent) and Republicans (50 percent) are extremely interested in the election.

Ninety-three percent of Democrats back Sinema, while 85 percent of Republicans support McSally.   More Arizona voters identify as Republican than as Democrat by 10 points.

Five percent are still undecided about their vote in the Senate race.

The candidates are competing for the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.

Trump won Arizona by nearly four points.  Currently, 52 percent of Arizona likely voters approve of the job he is doing, and 81 percent of Trump approvers are for McSally.

In the governor’s race, Republican incumbent Doug Ducey leads Democrat David Garcia by a comfortable 55-37 percent.

Indiana

Incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly bests Republican challenger Mike Braun by seven points among Indiana likely voters, 45-38 percent.  His lead is at the poll’s margin of error.  The race shifted since September when Braun was up by two points.  In early October, Donnelly was up by two.

Donnelly’s edge comes in large part from greater party loyalty and higher interest in the election among Democrats.  Fully 88 percent of Democrats back him vs. 80 percent of Republicans for Braun.  In addition, nearly 1 in 10 Republicans go for Donnelly.  Independents are about twice as likely to support the incumbent.

CLICK FOR FULL INDIANA POLL RESULTS

More Democrats (49 percent) than Republicans (43 percent) are extremely interested in the race.

Eighty-three percent of Donnelly supporters and 80 percent of Braun supporters feel certain of their vote choice.

Nine percent of Indiana likely voters are undecided.  Libertarian Lucy Breton takes five percent and that could be a wild card.

"Republican voters who flirt with Libertarian candidates tend to come home to the Republican candidate in the last few days,” says Shaw.

He adds, “Donnelly being under 50 percent bodes well for the less well-known challenger."

While Trump won Indiana by 19 points, more voters currently approve (50 percent) than disapprove (48 percent) of the job he is doing by just 2.  In early September, more approved than disapproved by 10 (54-44 percent).

Missouri

The Missouri Senate race is a toss-up.  Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and her Republican challenger Josh Hawley tie at 43 percent apiece.

Another four percent support another candidate, and nine percent are undecided.

CLICK FOR FULL MISSOURI POLL RESULTS

The race was also tied, 43-43 percent, at the beginning of October.

McCaskill has a 10-point advantage in party support:  93 percent of Democrats back her compared to 83 percent of Republicans going for Hawley.  The preference among independents splits.

Men break for Hawley by four points.  Women favor McCaskill by three.

Whites with a college degree support McCaskill by 6 points, while whites without a degree go for Hawley by 16.

More Democrats than Republicans are extremely interested in the election (55 vs. 48 percent respectively).

The candidates also tie in a hypothetical two-way matchup: 45-45 percent.

Among the subgroup of extremely interested voters, Hawley is up by three points in the two-way matchup, while McCaskill is up by one point in the expansive ballot.

Fifty-four percent of Missouri likely voters approve of Trump’s job performance, which nearly matches his 57 percent of the vote in 2016.

Tennessee

Republican Marsha Blackburn is pulling away from Democrat Phil Bredesen in the race to fill retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker’s seat.

She is preferred 50-41 percent over the former governor among Tennessee likely voters.  That 9-point lead is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.  She was up by five points in early October.

CLICK FOR FULL TENNESSEE POLL RESULTS

Blackburn’s advantage comes despite more Democrats (55 percent) than Republicans (48 percent) being extremely interested in the election — as well as greater party loyalty among Democrats.  Fully 92 percent of Democrats back Bredesen vs. 87 percent of Republicans supporting Blackburn.

It helps Blackburn that more Tennesseans identify as Republicans by a nearly 20-point margin.

There is a 35-point gender gap: women back Bredesen by 7 points and men support Blackburn by 28.

Eighty-eight percent of each candidate’s backers feel certain they will stick with their pick.

Trump remains popular in the Volunteer State.  He won 61 percent of the vote here, and 58 percent approve of his job performance.

In the Tennessee governor’s race, Republican Bill Lee leads Democrat Karl Dean by 54-37 percent.  Eleven percent of those backing Bredesen cross party lines to support Lee.

North Dakota

Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp trails Republican Kevin Cramer by nine points.  Cramer garners 51 percent to Heitkamp’s 42 percent among North Dakota likely voters.

In early October, Cramer had a 12-point lead (53-41 percent).  Even though the race has narrowed a bit, it is the second time the Fox News poll shows him above 50 percent.

Cramer’s lead is outside the margin of error.

CLICK FOR FULL NORTH DAKOTA POLL RESULTS

In a state that went for Trump by 36 points, Heitkamp is able to keep the race as close as it is thanks to greater support among Democrats.

Ninety-four percent of Democrats back Heitkamp.  Support for Cramer among Republicans stands at 85 percent.  The vote preference among independents goes in Heitkamp’s favor by a narrow three points.

Many more North Dakotans identify as Republican than as Democrat.

There is a 22-point gender gap, as Heitkamp is the choice for women by 1 point and men go for Cramer by 21.

By a 5-point margin, more Democrats (56 percent) than Republicans (51 percent) feel extremely interested in the election.

Among Cramer supporters, 92 percent feel sure they will vote for him, while 88 percent of Heitkamp supporters say the same.

Four percent are undecided about their Senate vote, and eight percent who currently support a candidate feel they could change their mind.

Heitkamp outperforms the other Democrat on the ballot this year.  Mac Schneider is running against Republican Kelly Armstrong to take the state’s lone House seat vacated by Cramer.  Armstrong leads by 55-33 percent.

Sixty-one percent of North Dakota likely voters approve of the job Trump is doing.  He won 63 percent of the vote in 2016.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  The poll was conducted October 27-30, 2018 by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among likely voters in Indiana (722), Missouri (741), North Dakota (789) and Tennessee (718).  Results based on the full sample of likely voters in each state except North Dakota have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  ND is plus or minus three points.  Registered voters were randomly selected from a statewide voter file (except in ND where all eligible voters were included), and respondents answered screening questions about their likelihood to vote in the November elections.  For Arizona, it is October 27-29 and 643 likely voters, plus or minus 3.5 points.

Fox News Voter Analysis: Voters pleased with economy, divided on border wall

Nearly two-thirds of voters in Tuesday's midterm elections said the U.S. economy was in "excellent" or "good" shape, according to the Fox News Voter Analysis.

The survey showed 65 percent of voters had a positive view of the economy, compared to 34 percent with a negative view. Despite that, about 6 in 10 voters said the country is heading in the wrong direction, while around 4 in 10 said it's on the right track.

Voters were more sharply divided on President Trump's long-promised plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, with 46 percent in favor of the proposal and 53 percent opposing it. About 6 in 10 voters said it should be the responsibility of the federal government to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage.

Those who went to the polls on Election Day were nearly evenly split about the fate of ObamaCare, with 51 percent wanting to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act and 48 percent wanting to either keep the law as it is or expand it. A narrow plurality (27 percent) of voters saw health care as the most important issue facing the country in these midterms, followed by immigration (23 percent). Smaller shares considered the economy (19 percent), gun policy (8 percent) and the environment (7 percent) to be the top issue.

Those who voted for a Democratic House candidate were more likely to say health care was their top issue, while those who voted for a Republican were more likely to name immigration.

Despite division on many issues, a whopping 81 percent of national voters said they didn't trust the federal government. Just 19 percent said they did.

The analysis, conducted in partnership with the Associated Press, is based on surveys conducted in all 50 states by NORC at the University of Chicago, as well as actual voting results by county, as collected by the AP. The survey of 113,677 voters and 21,599 nonvoters was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton and Shannon Bream and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fox News Poll: Republicans make gains in top Senate races

A new round of Fox News battleground polls shows a Republican trend in the fight for the U.S. Senate. The GOP candidates are helped by increased interest in the election among Republicans and pro-Donald Trump sentiment.

There’s been an uptick in GOP interest in all five states surveyed.  Compared to early September, the number of Republicans feeling “extremely” interested in the upcoming election is up by 2 points in Arizona, up by 9 points in Indiana, up 8 points in both Missouri and North Dakota, and up 11 points in Tennessee.  In each state, Republicans are now just as likely as Democrats to say they are extremely interested — erasing an edge Democrats had in several states last month.

The battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court might explain increased interest in the election among Republicans.  And how incumbent Senate Democrats vote on Kavanaugh could tip tight races, especially in Missouri and North Dakota.  Voting against his nomination hurts more than helps the Democrats in those states.

However, the races are far from settled.

Only one of the Senate candidates has a lead outside the survey’s margin of sampling error.  And that same candidate is also the only front-runner above the important marker of 50 percent support from their electorate.

Starting with Arizona, here are the state-by-state results:

Arizona
Democrat Kyrsten Sinema tops Republican Martha McSally by a 47-45 percent margin in the Senate race to fill the open seat of retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Last month, Sinema was up 47-44 percent (September 8-11).

Sinema is helped by strong backing among women (+9 points), voters under age 45 (+14) and Hispanics (+29).  She also enjoys greater party loyalty, as 91 percent of Democrats back her vs. 83 percent of Republicans for McSally.

READ THE COMPLETE ARIZONA POLL RESULTS.

However, McSally’s overall support is stronger, with 83 percent of her backers saying they are certain to vote for her compared to 71 percent of Sinema’s.

Veterans prefer McSally, a retired Air Force pilot, by a 25-point margin.  In addition, she leads among white voters (+5) and voters over age 45 (+4).

The two candidates are about equally liked.  For Sinema, 48 percent have a favorable opinion vs. 41 percent unfavorable.  For McSally, it’s 46-45 percent.

President Trump won Arizona by nearly four percentage points in 2016.  That’s in line with his current job rating, as 51 percent of the state’s likely voters approve, while 47 percent disapprove.

Indiana
Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly tops Republican challenger Mike Braun by two points (43-41 percent), while Libertarian Lucy Brenton takes 6 percent.  Eight percent are undecided.

That’s a reversal from early September, when Braun had a two-point edge (45-43 percent).

Men are more likely to back Braun by a 9-point margin, while women pick Donnelly by 11.

READ THE COMPLETE INDIANA POLL RESULTS.

Voters with a college degree support Donnelly by 10 points, while those without a degree go for Braun by 3 points. 

Strength of support is about equal: 77 percent of Braun’s backers say they are certain to vote for him.  It’s 74 percent for Donnelly. 

If Donnelly votes against Kavanaugh, 30 percent say it would make them more likely to vote for him, 32 percent say less likely, and 34 percent say no difference.

The Democrat announced he would vote against Kavanaugh on September 28, after Senate Judiciary Committee hearings that included testimony by Christine Blasey Ford on her sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

While Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 19 points in Indiana, today Hoosier voters approve of his job performance by just 6:  52 percent approve, while 46 percent disapprove.

Missouri

The Missouri Senate race is all tied up at 43 percent apiece for incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and Republican challenger Josh Hawley, while other candidates garner 8 percent and six percent are undecided.  Three weeks ago, McCaskill was up 44-41 percent (September 8-11).

The survey also finds the race tied, 46-46 percent, in a hypothetical two-way matchup.

READ THE COMPLETE MISSOURI POLL RESULTS.

Suburban women (+15 points) and voters under age 45 (+6) are more likely to back McCaskill. 

The gender gap is somewhat diminished, as McCaskill’s advantage among women stands at 4 points, down from 9 points last month. 

Hawley has the edge among men (+5 points) and rural voters (+22).

About three-quarters of both McCaskill’s (75 percent) and Hawley’s supporters (74 percent) feel certain they will back their candidate. 

McCaskill announced she would vote against Kavanaugh September 19, a week before Kavanaugh and Ford testified.

Among the 28 percent of voters who say they could still switch candidates, almost twice as many say McCaskill voting against Kavanaugh’s confirmation would make them less inclined to back her. 

In general, voters have mixed views of both McCaskill (48 favorable vs. 48 unfavorable) and Hawley (47-45 percent).

The president remains popular in the Show-Me State: a majority of 54 percent approves of the job Trump is doing, while 45 percent disapprove.  He won Missouri by 19 points. 

North Dakota

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats this year, along with Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly.

The survey shows Heitkamp may be in the most difficult position, as Republican challenger Kevin Cramer now leads by 12 points (53-41 percent).  Last month, he was up by four (48-44 percent).

READ THE COMPLETE NORTH DAKOTA POLL RESULTS.

The shift comes mainly from declines in support for Heitkamp among women (was up by 7 points, now trails by 4), and voters with a college degree (was up by 7, now trails by 8). 

More Democrats back Heitkamp (94 percent) than Republicans back Cramer (87 percent), but in a state so red that Trump won by nearly 40 points, that isn’t enough. 

Strength of support is also with Cramer.  Nearly 9 in 10 (87 percent) of his supporters are sure of their vote, compared to 8 in 10 Heitkamp backers (79 percent).

Heitkamp remains undecided on Kavanaugh.  If she votes against his confirmation, twice as many say they would be less likely (34 percent) rather than more likely (17 percent) to vote for her. 

By a 64-35 percent margin, likely voters approve of the president.  That 29-point spread comes close to matching his 36-point margin of victory in 2016.

Meanwhile, Republican Kelly Armstrong (51 percent) leads Democrat Mac Schneider (34 percent) by 17 points for the state’s only House seat, which Cramer vacated to run for Senate.

Tennessee

The president held a rally Monday in Johnson City, Tennessee.  He won the state by 26 points, and voters there still love him.  Likely voters in the Volunteer State approve of Trump’s job performance by 60-39 percent.

READ THE COMPLETE TENNESSEE POLL RESULTS

That helps put Republican Marsha Blackburn ahead of Democrat Phil Bredesen by a 48-43 percent margin.  Blackburn’s 5-point advantage is inside the poll’s margin of error. 

Last month, she had a 3-point edge over Bredesen.  They are competing for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Women go for Bredesen by 5 points, while men are more likely to pick Blackburn by 17.  Among white men, her lead grows to 30 points. 

Bredesen stays in the game by garnering greater party loyalty (92 percent of Democrats back him compared to 82 percent of GOP for her), while also taking 10 percent of Republicans. 

About the same share of Bredesen (79 percent certain) and Blackburn (77 percent) supporters say they are certain to vote for them. 

Plus, roughly equal numbers have a positive view of both Blackburn (50 favorable vs. 41 unfavorable) and Bredesen (51-39 percent), who served as Tennessee’s governor from 2003 to 2011.

Governor Pollpourri

In the Arizona governor’s race, Republican incumbent Doug Ducey leads: 55 percent vs. 37 percent for Democrat David Garcia.  One in five of Sinema’s supporters (20 percent) split their ballot and back the Republican, Ducey, for governor.

By a 17-point margin, Tennessee likely voters back Republican Bill Lee (53 percent) over Democrat Karl Dean (36 percent) in the state’s gubernatorial race.  Fourteen percent of those backing Bredesen in the Senate race defect to support Lee, the Republican, for governor.

The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R).  The poll was conducted September 29-October 2, 2018 by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among likely voters in Arizona (716), Indiana (695), Missouri (683), North Dakota (704) and Tennessee (666).  Results based on the full sample in each state have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  Registered voters were randomly selected from a statewide voter file (except in ND where all eligible voters were included), and respondents answered screening questions about their likelihood to vote in the November elections.