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Poll Shows a Dead Heat Between Democrats, GOP in 2022 Midterms

The Economist/YouGov poll also shows that nearly two-thirds of voters believe U.S. democracy is under threat.

Voters arrive to cast a ballot at a polling station setup in the Region II Elections Office on November 1, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska.

About a week before election season comes to a close, voters across the nation are evenly split on which of the two major political parties they want to win in the midterms, according to a recent poll.

Although the rate of ballots returned so far is much higher than in previous midterm years, millions of Americans have yet to submit their votes, with many set to do so on Election Day this coming Tuesday.

According to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted from October 29 to November 1, 48 percent of voters say they back the Democrat who is running in their House district, while 48 percent say they support the Republican choice. Just 2 percent say they are unsure of who to support, according to the poll.

Whether in person or by mail, voters are determined to take part in this year’s midterm races, the poll found, with 65 percent of voters saying they will “definitely” or “probably” vote by this Tuesday.

Sixty-six percent of Democratic-leaning voters say they will take part in the elections, while 65 percent of Republican-leaning voters say the same. Among those who voted for President Joe Biden in 2020, 64 percent say they are “definitely” or “probably” voting. Among those who backed former President Donald Trump, the enthusiasm is slightly higher, with 70 percent saying they plan to vote.

People’s minds are largely made up, with only 3 percent saying they could “easily” change their minds before Election Day.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll also demonstrated that voters are concerned about the state of democracy. Forty percent of voters, for example, say they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about intimidation or violence at the polls this year. Fifty-one percent say they think there will be violence at the polls somewhere in the country.

Voters also believe that some candidates won’t accept the outcome if they lose their respective races — as Trump did in 2020 when he lost to Biden — with 66 percent of voters saying this is “very” or “somewhat” likely to happen. Fifty-three percent of voters believe that candidates should promise to accept the outcome of the race before elections take place, versus just 19 percent who say such promises aren’t necessary. But only 44 percent of voters think candidates in their home states will respect the results and concede if they lose.

Overall, 62 percent of Americans believe that democracy is under threat. Less than 1 in 5 voters (19 percent) believe that democracy is not being threatened.

The Economist/YouGov poll is considered fairly reliable in predicting electoral outcomes, especially at the national level. According to FiveThirtyEight, YouGov correctly selects who wins races around 9 out of every 10 times. Its polling is also usually within its stated margin of error — in 2020, when the survey had a margin of error of around 3.3 points, the poll predicted the outcome within that range for both presidential candidates, saying that Biden would win the support of 53 percent of Americans and that Trump would get the support of 43 percent. (Biden ended up with around 51.4 percent of the vote, while Trump ended up with 46.9 percent.)

The poll also came close to predicting the final outcome of the 2018 midterm races, saying that Democrats would defeat Republicans by around six points; in the end, Democrats actually won by around 8.4 points.