Democrats Hold Edge with Voters on Health Care, Republicans on the Economy

By a 38% to 27% margin, voters trust Democrats on the issue of health care more than Republicans. A national survey shows that Democrats are holding their lead on what remains the top issue in the midterm elections.

But voters trust Republicans by a 36% to 27% margin over the Democrats on the economy, which is the second most important issue for voters this election cycle. Both results are similar to attitudes found last month.

This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted October 23-24, 2018 for by HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology.). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Another top midterm election issue is immigration. But on that issue, Americans remain more divided. Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters trust the Republicans more on immigration while 32% prefer the Democrats. My most recent column looked more specifically at the politics of the caravan. Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters favor sending troops to the Southern border. Forty percent (40%) believe that these migrants should be held in a detention center near the border while their request for asylum can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Another 30% believe those in the migrant caravan should simply be turned away without any review.

Some of the biggest disparities in these poll results are based on gender. On health care, men are basically split on which party they trust more with 32% favoring the Democrats and 31% favoring Republicans. But women voters prefer the Democrats on health care by a large 44% to 23% margin (see question wording and crosstab results).

On the economy, the gender gaps persist. While men prefer Republicans on that issue by a 44% to 25% margin, women voters who support Democrats and those who back Republicans on the economy are split evenly at 29% apiece.

When the broad issue of the economy is drilled down to just job creation, some of those disparities become less pronounced. Overall, 38% of voters favor the Republicans on job creation to 23% who favor Democrats. But a larger number of men and women respondents both side with the Republicans over the Democrats on this part of the economy. Men trust the GOP over Democrats on job creation by a 44% to 21% margin and women also prefer Republicans over Democrats by 32% to 24%.

Voters are also generally split on gun laws. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Americans trust the Republicans more on this issue compared to 29% who trust Democrats more. Here too, there is a big difference between male and female respondents. More men trust the Republicans over Democrats on guns by 41% to 26% while more women prefer Democrats over Republicans on that issue by a 33% to 27% margin.

The gender gap is a key focus in this election as suburban women voters are once again expected to play the role of swing voters.

The mission of is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). We release new polling data each day. Sign up to receive our daily email update. 

You can also follow our work on Twitter and Facebook.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

Scott's Newsletter
Sign up for Scott's newsletter and get his political insight delivered right to your inbox!