The political bump Democrats experienced after the Dobbs decision, coupled with falling gas prices and the Jan. 6 hearings, may now be in the rearview mirror.
According to The New York Times, the political tables could be turning with Election Day just six weeks away.
[T]here are a few signs that the political winds may have begun to blow in a different direction — one that might help Republicans over the final stretch. The political spotlight may be drifting back toward issues where Republicans have an advantage, like the economy and immigration.
It can be difficult to discern these kinds of subtle shifts in the national mood, but Google Search trends offer a decent rough measure. For the first time since the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Google searches for the economy and immigration have overtaken searches about abortion. Searches for democracy or the Jan. 6 hearings have also fallen. […]
But the new Google trends numbers resemble the figures from the spring, when Republicans held the edge before the Dobbs ruling and the Jan. 6 hearings, and before the F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Trump. In all three cases, an unusual outside event helped focus the electorate on an issue that helped Democrats. As those galvanizing factors fall into the rearview mirror, the electorate’s gaze appears to be drifting back toward the earlier set of issues. (NYT)
These changes are starting to be seen in polling.
But this weekend, two polls showed Republicans with a lead among likely voters — including an ABC/Washington Post poll showing Republicans up by five percentage points among likely voters. It may prove to be an outlier, or perhaps it’s the first sign of a material shift in the race.
The ABC/Washington Post poll wasn’t the only measure of the race on Sunday. CBS News found Republicans ahead by one point among likely voters, 46 percent to 45 percent.
The difference between an overall Republican victory of one or five points on Election Day would be hugely significant, but from a statistical standpoint the difference between leads of one and five points in two polls isn’t nearly so stark. So I wouldn’t dwell too much on the difference between the two top-line numbers.
But the surveys do appear to have one thing in common: They show Republicans enjoying a turnout advantage. In the CBS News poll, Republicans were five points likelier than Democrats to say they would “definitely” vote, 79 percent to 74 percent. Similarly, ABC/Post found 81 percent of Republicans “absolutely certain” to vote compared with 75 percent of Democrats. (NYT)
There is pretty clearly a shift in the issue environment. Here, one example -- interest in abortion is back down to pre-Dobbs levels on Google Searches, with the economy overtaking it. It's quite a bit like the pre-Dobbs leak numbers pic.twitter.com/vcD3fzfuaV— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) September 28, 2022
A lot of you don't love the Google metric -- I like it a lot -- but here's another: the share of voters citing abortion as the 'most important' issue fell from 8% in July to 4% in September, per Gallup— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) September 28, 2022
This come as pollsters are warning that polling will likely prove to be inaccurate due to the political attacks against Republicans.
"This year, our fear is that people are not going to be polled that are Trump supporters because all that Biden has said, and all the apparent attacks, and people coming after them and they're just hesitant even to participate," Robert Cahaly, senior strategist at the Trafalgar Group, told Fox News host Dan Bongino recently.
"I think everybody will underestimate them, including us," he continued. "Republican turnout will exceed even what we predict."