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7 Issues Dems Are Losing on Ahead of the Midterms

Poll shows voters oppose Democrats' handling of border, drugs, law enforcement, and more

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) / Getty Images
• February 15, 2022 2:34 pm

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Democrats are lagging double digits behind Republicans in national polls as voters oppose the Democratic party's platform on law enforcement, the economy, border security, and other policy issues.

Only 42 percent prefer Democratic candidates in the midterm elections, whereas 54 percent prefer Republicans, according to a poll by the Trafalgar Group. Voters' concerns about a governing Democratic majority have been aggravated in the last year by unfettered illegal immigration, spikes in drug seizures and deaths, unchecked aggression from China, rising gas prices, inflation, and crime, and Democrats' embrace of teachers' unions over parents in education policy.

About 80 percent of Americans "believe police departments can be fully funded, prosecutors tough on crime, and officers who abuse their power properly disciplined," according to the poll. The view is at odds with statements made by congressional Democrats. Members of the far-left "Squad" have frequently supported the defund the police movement, which advocates for reallocating funds from law enforcement to mental health care and community services. Democratic megadonors like George Soros have also contributed to the recent elections of progressive districts attorney, including Philadelphia's Larry Krasner and San Francisco's Chesa Boudin, who have pursued lighter sentencing, less incarceration, and the elimination of cash bail.

According to the poll, almost 70 percent of voters are worried "growing aggression from China is a threat to America," and 56 percent "believe Fentanyl coming across the southern border from China is the leading contributor to overdose deaths in America."

The Biden administration has a mixed record regarding Beijing. It has accused China of taking "aggressive actions" in the South China Sea and slapped the regime with some economic sanctions. But it has also lobbied members of Congress against legislation that would ban imports of Chinese goods produced with Uyghur slave labor. The United States did enact a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics but still sent athletes to the games in February.

Customs and Border Protection seized nearly twice as much fentanyl in fiscal year 2021 as the year before. Most of seizures occurred on the U.S.-Mexico border. The data, which was quietly released in September, came months after Senate Democrats voted in April against an amendment that would have funded "opioid detection activities" at the southern border. The CDC also reported in November that drug overdose deaths are at their highest level ever.

Around 67 percent of voters surveyed "believe the southern border should be secured and illegal border crossers returned to their country of origin." Last year the nation saw the highest number of illegal border crossings in history, with 1.9 million arrests made. During President Joe Biden's first six months in office, deportations dropped to their lowest level in decades, falling by roughly 90 percent. By the end of 2021, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported just 55,590 illegal immigrants—a 70 percent decrease from the year before.

Most voters—54 percent—said Biden's policies to fix inflation will hurt America's economic recovery. Inflation reached a 40-year high in January, spurred on by the Biden administration's trillions of dollars in COVID spending relief. Gas prices reached a seven-year high in October, following executive orders signed by Biden that banned new natural gas and oil permits on federal lands. The president also blocked further construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Nearly 63 percent of voters, according to the Trafalgar poll, "believe America can further develop domestic natural gas and oil production without putting the environment at risk."

Finally, almost half of Americans—48 percent—"believe parents should have greater authority than teachers' unions in directing the education policy in their local school districts." The tension between the two came into high relief during Virginia's gubernatorial election, when Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe said parents shouldn't "be telling schools what they should teach." Public sentiment also shifted after the National School Board Association collaborated with the Biden White House on a controversial letter that called on the FBI to investigate parents as domestic terrorists.

The Trafalgar Group, which is best known for accurately predicting the outcome of the 2016 election, conducted the poll from Feb. 2 to 6 and surveyed more than 1,000 likely 2022 election voters.

Published under: 2022 Election, Democrats