As the 2024 presidential election approaches, understanding the sentiments of voters in swing states will be crucial for Republicans aiming for victory. A recent NBC News poll sheds light on various issues, highlighting areas of consensus and potential challenges for the GOP. The survey encompassed both registered voters and Republican primary voters, exploring their opinions on 11 key issues and proposals put forth by GOP presidential candidates. By analyzing these results, Republicans can gain insight into the concerns and preferences of a significant portion of the American population.
Unquestionably, the ongoing crisis at the southern border has captured the attention of voters across the board. The poll revealed that deploying the U.S. military to the border as a measure to curb drug trafficking garners widespread support. Among all voters, 55 percent expressed a higher likelihood of supporting candidates who endorsed military involvement at the border, while a staggering 86 percent of GOP primary voters shared this sentiment. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, for instance, recently unveiled his plan, which includes employing lethal force against drug cartels to combat drug smuggling.
Conversely, the least popular stance among both groups of voters pertains to potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare as a means to address the federal deficit. While Congressman DeSantis previously supported raising the retirement age to 70 and privatizing Social Security benefits, his presidential campaign promises to preserve these entitlement programs. Only 12 percent of all voters and 19 percent of GOP primary voters indicated support for candidates seeking changes to Social Security and Medicare.
Another issue that garnered limited support, and one that DeSantis might consider distancing himself from in the case of Disney, involves “threatening to penalize or financially harm businesses that make statements on LGBTQ and other issues that they do not agree with.” Merely 12 percent of those polled expressed a higher likelihood of supporting candidates who adopt such a position, while a significant 70 percent stated they would be less likely to do so. This sentiment suggests that consumers may choose to voice their disapproval with their wallets, similar to the response seen in the case of Bud Light.
Ongoing financial assistance for the war in Ukraine also fails to resonate with voters. Among all voters, 40 percent indicated reduced support for candidates who advocate continued U.S. taxpayer funding for the conflict. Similarly, 52 percent of GOP primary voters conveyed a diminished likelihood of backing such candidates.
In terms of social issues, Republicans may find traction with voters in 2024. Among GOP primary voters, 76 percent expressed a probable inclination to support a candidate who opposes discussing sexual orientation and gender identity in K-8 classrooms and supports banning transgender teens from accessing puberty-blockers. These percentages were 46 percent and 41 percent, respectively, among all voters.
The topic of abortion yielded intriguing results. While 52 percent of GOP primary voters favored a candidate endorsing a six-week abortion ban, this position did not resonate as strongly among general election voters, particularly those residing in key swing states crucial for Republican success. Only 31 percent of swing state voters were likely to support a candidate backing a six-week ban, while 55 percent would not likely support such a candidate. Governor DeSantis recently signed a six-week abortion ban into law in Florida, whereas Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina expressed support for a federally mandated 15-week ban but remained open to more stringent measures.
Apart from these evident national issues, Republicans may want to prioritize the results of an earlier poll conducted this year. A Gallup poll in January revealed that Americans viewed government itself and poor leadership as the most pressing concerns facing the nation. This suggests that while voters care about specific issues, they ultimately seek viable solutions. Republican candidates can address these concerns in swing states by providing practical remedies to the problems highlighted in the polls. Such an approach holds the potential for success in the upcoming election.