It's Election Day: Here Are the Biggest Issues for Voters

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Posted: Nov 06, 2018 12:01 AM
It's Election Day: Here Are the Biggest Issues for Voters

The hotly anticipated 2018 midterm elections have finally arrived after months of advertisements, controversies and candidates making their best pitches to voters. 

Earlier this year, President Trump asked his team to put him on the campaign trail as much as possible this fall. In the final days of the campaign, with 10 rallies in just four days, he's put in the work to get Republicans across the country elected. Early voting for the GOP is breaking records and enthusiasm in red states Trump won in 2016 is high.

How voters ultimately choose to cast their ballots remains to be seen, but there are three main issues they're paying the most attention to. 

Healthcare: 

Healthcare remains a top issue for voters on both sides of the political aisle. In recent weeks, Democrats have pivoted their messaging to protecting pre-existing conditions. Republicans, many who also support protecting pre-existing conditions, have gone after "Medicare for all" as an Obamacare nightmare on steroids. With a failure to fully repeal Obamacare on their record, healthcare is an area where the GOP is vulnerable, especially since the majority of registered voters say they trust Democrats to best handle the issue. Also keep in mind open enrollment, with many seeing increases in insurance costs, is happening as voters head to the polls.

The Economy: 

Heading into Tuesday Republicans no doubt have the upper hand on the economy. On Friday, the Labor Department announced 250,000 new jobs for October in sectors across the board. A new increase in wage growth not seen since 2009, ending stagnant numbers for blue collar workers, took away the last Democrat talking point on the issue.

Illegal Immigration: 

President Trump won the White House in 2016 on an anti-illegal immigration platform and he's been pounding a law and order message on the issue ever since. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, caravans of thousands started marching their way to the border from Central America. This prompted President Trump, who has turned usually local midterm elections into national  campaigns, to repeatedly visit the issue on the stump and at the White House. Democrats have been dodging questions about abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and vulnerable Senators in red states, like Missouri's Claire McCaskill, have publicly supported President Trump's decision to send thousands of U.S. troops to the border with Mexico.

Outside of healthcare, the economy and illegal immigration, there are a number of other issues voters are keeping in mind on Election Day. Gallup gives us a comprehensive look at the numbers: 

There are, as would be expected, large differences between Republican and Democratic voters in the importance they place on many of these issues.

Overall, the average importance rating across the 12 issues for Democrats, including Democratic-leaning independents, is 73%, compared with an average rating of 61% for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

The two issues with the biggest partisan gaps in perceived importance this year -- more than 40 points -- are climate change and the Russia investigation.

Three issues are significantly more important to Republicans' vote for Congress than to Democrats': the economy, taxes and immigration.

Overall, Republican voters are looking to reward President Trump for keeping his promises and backing the candidates who have helped or vowed to implement his agenda. For Democrats, the far left of the party is hoping to turn their "resist" agenda into results by giving Nancy Pelosi back the gavel in the House.