Pew: GOP Tops Dems in Handling Most Issues, Running Government

Less then two weeks before the midterm election, Republicans lead in public perception of their handling of a host of major issues.

That is according to a Pew Research Center poll of 2,003 adults Oct. 15-20.

According to the poll, 47% said Republicans "could do a better job" than Democrats (30%) of handling terrorist threats, the budget deficit (48% to 33%), the economy (44% to 38%) and immigration (44% to 39%). Only on healthcare do Democrats top Republicans, (46% to 40%).

But Democrats get higher marks than Republicans for being more willing to work with the other side (50% to 28%), being more concerned for "people like me," and for governing honestly (41% to 33%). Only in managing the government do Republicans win out, but barely (42% to 39%), just outside the 2.5 percentage point margin of error (plus or minus) for the total survey.

The Republicans are predicted to have a better than even chance of capturing the Senate to go along with their control of the House, but the survey found that fewer than half (43%) even knew that the Democrats currently control the Senate, or the Republicans the House.

There could be a major anti-incumbent vote if the poll is correct. More than two-thirds of those polled (68%) said they don't want to see "most" current representatives and senators returned to office, which is 14 percentage points higher than in 2010 and 18 points higher than 2008.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.