The nation's midterm election results will depend on issues such as rising gas prices and the economy, not on President Joe Biden's gaffes, even though more than half of people polled think he has a cognitive problem, Jim McLaughlin, the president of McLaughlin & Associates, told Newsmax on Tuesday.
"The more Republicans are able to talk about issues, the better off that they're going to be in these campaigns," McLaughlin, the pollster for former President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign, said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "In focus groups, when we ask voters what Joe Biden's biggest accomplishment is, they laugh at you. These are a lot of voters who voted for Joe Biden."
Gas prices have gone up an average of 25 cents a gallon nationally since September and that will play a "huge" role in how people vote, said McLaughlin.
"It cuts into that narrative that we were getting from Joe Biden and the Democrats over the summer that things were getting better," said McLaughlin. "I've seen it over the last couple of weeks in our polling for various campaigns across the country. You're seeing the Republican candidates surging right now."
Meanwhile, a new Issues & Insights/TIPP Survey shows that more Democrats are beginning to have concerns about President Joe Biden's mental acuity, with the numbers jumping about his mental state from 59% to 64% in two months.
"A lot of people will tell you that they're amazed that it's only 64% because it's only really the hard-core Democrat base telling you that they're not concerned," said McLaughlin. "We've been seeing that throughout the election with more than half the voters, and we've been testing this in our national polls, that more than half the voters think Joe Biden has a cognitive problem, and they want him to be tested."
Further, the polls show that "most Americans don't think Biden is capable and competent for the job, and that's one of his biggest negatives right now," said McLaughlin. "Not only do they think he's gotten way too far to the left, but they think he's also incompetent."
Biden, meanwhile, has "significant disapproval ratings," and that could turn Democrats against their party, he added.
"I've always felt that once we got past Labor Day, and I've been involved in a lot of these wave elections, whether it was 1994 or 2010 or even the elections where Republicans didn't do well, like in 2018, what happened was they tend to happen late," said McLaughlin. "What I've been saying the whole time is in a lot of these Senate races where you have, for instance, somebody like a Raphael Warnock in Georgia who can't get over that 50% threshold, the vast majority of those undecided voters are going to break against the Democrats. Why? Because they think the country is overwhelmingly off on the wrong track, and Joe Biden has significant disapproval ratings."
Inflation, open borders, and growing crime, meanwhile, are jeopardizing Biden's reelection chances in 2024, said McLaughlin.
"Voters have been telling us since August of last year, a majority are telling us that we're in a recession because it's not just gas prices. It's groceries. It's coffee. It's everything you do in life has gotten more expensive," said McLaughlin. "Any one of those three issues could end the presidency, and he's got to deal with all those."
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