Republicans' Lead on Economy Could Hand Them Midterms: Poll

The Republican Party's lead on economic issues such as jobs and taxes could hand them a victory in the 2024 midterm elections, according to a poll conducted in early January.

The Winston Group/Winning the Issues national survey showed Republicans leading in the generic congressional ballot with 46 percent to Democrats' 44 percent.

Though that lead is narrow, the poll also shows that the GOP is outpacing the Democrats on key economic issues, as a plurality of registered voters believe the economy is the most important issue.

The poll was conducted from January 2 to 4 among 1,000 registered voters. The Winston Group enjoys an A/B rating from poll tracker FiveThirtyEight.

The survey asked respondents which party they have more confidence in on a range of issues, with Republicans significantly ahead on economic matters.

On the economy generally, 48 percent of respondents said they had more confidence in Republicans and just 38 percent said the same of Democrats.

That finding may be significant as the poll also found that the economy was the top concern among registered voters with 27 percent of respondents saying it was the most important issue in deciding how they would vote. Health care came second at 11 percent, followed by immigration at 8 percent.

Republicans led on gas prices as 45 percent of respondents said they had more confidence in the party on that issue compared to 36 percent in Democrats.

However, respondents expressed significantly more confidence in Democrats when it came to health care, with 48 percent favoring the party compared to just 34 percent who said they had more confidence in the GOP.

In a potentially worrying result for Democrats and President Joe Biden, 50 percent of poll respondents also said the economy was on the wrong track while 38 percent said it was going in the right direction, and 12 percent said they didn't know.

There was also unhappiness with how Biden is handling the economy, with 49 disapproving and 44 approving, while 51 percent disapproved of the job the president is doing on inflation compared to 37 percent who approved. On gas prices, 50 percent disapproved of Biden's handling and 38 percent approved.

The GOP also enjoyed leads on other economic issues, although registered voters told the survey those issues were less important in deciding how they would vote.

Republicans led on jobs by 45 percent to 41 percent, taxes by 45 percent to 39 percent and inflation 46 percent to 34 percent. Respondents also expressed more confidence in Republicans on the issue of crime and safety by 45 percent to 35 percent.

Democrats led on education by 44 percent to 37 percent and there was a virtual tie on the issue of energy, with Republicans recording 42 percent and Democrats 41 percent.

Republicans are hoping to take back the House of Representatives and the Senate in November and if they succeed, they will be able to stymie Biden's agenda for the remainder of his first term.

Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy in 2015
(Right-left) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY), stands next to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), during a signing ceremony for the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act on February 13, 2015 in the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. A recent poll suggests that Republicans are winning the argument on economic issues ahead of the November midterms. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images