Former GOP pollster and 2016 Trump presidential campaign manager Kellyanne Conway says the same issues leading to the 1994 Republican Revolution are at the top of voter concerns now.
“I think in 2022 if you’re a Democrat, reality bites because politics is often a game of perception,” Conway said on Fox News on Tuesday.
Voters “know what they see, not what politicians say,” she explained.
“In 1994, crime and the economy were the two most important issues going into the big Republican sweep that year and the Contract with America with Newt Gingrich. We’re seeing that again now,” said Conway.
In the 1994 midterms, Republicans gained 54 seats in the House and took control of the Senate, too, marking the first time the party had held both chambers since the 1950s.
The New York Times reported in November 1994, days before the midterm elections, that polling showed crime and the economy as the top two issues for voters.
“Twenty-three percent of those surveyed identified crime as ‘the most important problem facing this country today.’ Economic concerns ranked second, with 18 percent calling them the nation’s most pressing problem,” according to the Times.
Then-President Bill Clinton’s job approval number stood at 43 percent in the poll, with 48 percent disapproving.
The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows President Joe Biden’s standing with the American people even worse.
Approximately 41 percent approve and 54 percent disapprove of his handling of the job.
A Politico-Morning Consult poll conducted at the end of last month showed 41 percent of registered voters said the economic issues are their top concerns, followed by “security” at 13 percent.
A Fox News poll conducted in late April and early May found the issues voters were either “extremely” or “very concerned” about included the future of the country and inflation, both at 87 percent, while crime rates also came in among the highest at 79 percent.
In the survey, Biden received his worst marks for his handling of inflation (28 percent approve, 67 percent disapprove), the economy (36 percent to 61 percent), immigration (32 percent to 61 percent) and crime (33 percent to 59 percent).
Overall, 32 percent are satisfied with the direction of the country, and 67 percent are dissatisfied.
Democratic pollster Chris Anderson told Fox News at the time, “This is a brutal environment for Democrats heading into the midterms, as voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Biden’s job performance on inflation while they feel its bite more each day.”
“It can be argued Biden isn’t to blame, but that’s not the argument that is going to maintain control of Congress,” Anderson added.
The Democratic Party currently has a slim 220 to 208 seat advantage in the House, and the Senate is evenly divided between the political parties at 50-50.
The Cook Political Report just revised its House elections forecast, shifting 10 races into the Republicans’ column and moving just two to the Democrats’ side.
Further, 35 seats now held by Democrats are rated tossup or worse.
A total of 208 seats are in the “lean red” to “solid red” categories versus 188 Democrat-held ones on the left of the spectrum. A party needs 218 House members to win the majority.
Cook is predicting Republicans will gain 20 to 35 seats, meaning they would retake the chamber.
On the Senate side, the political site sees 19 of the 35 seats that are up this election cycle likely going to Republicans. The Democrats are well-poised to take 11 seats, and five are rated toss-ups.
So the GOP looks in a good position to retake the chamber.