This is one of two Fox News Polls released Thursday.
With just under a year until the 2024 elections, Republicans are seen as better able to handle top voter concerns like inflation, and safety-related issues such as crime, national security, and terrorism, while they favor Democrats on lower-ranking problems such as climate change, abortion, and transgender issues.
As voters zero in on issues that concern them most, the latest Fox News survey, released Thursday, finds three levels of concern.
Economic concerns are still at the forefront of voters’ minds, as 89% are extremely or very worried about inflation and higher prices. This first tier also includes threats to personal freedoms and rights, higher crimes rates across the country, and political divisions (82% each).
The next tier sees issue concern in the 70% range and includes the Israel-Hamas war (74%), attacks by Islamic terrorists in the U.S. (73%), gun laws (72%), and abortion policy (71%).
All other concerns are under 70%, this third tier encompasses border security (69%), political showdown over the debt ceiling (69%), Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (67%), antisemitism (67%), climate change (58%), and transgender issues (46%).
Who can better handle these concerns?
Voters see Republicans as better on border security (by 24 points), national security (+20), terrorism (+18), inflation (+12), foreign policy (+12), and crime (+12) and have for some time. They also have an advantage on government spending (+11).
Democrats maintain their strong positions on abortion (by 19 points) and climate change (+18). They also are favored on handling transgender issues (+24) and antisemitism (+9).
Then there is the middle ground. Voters are more divided over who can bring the country together (+5D), handle gun policy (+3R), and protect personal freedoms (+4R).
“The Democrats are hugely disadvantaged on two of the most salient issues: inflation and crime,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw who conducts Fox News surveys with Democrat Chris Anderson. “The fact that they are at parity on the other two extremely salient issues (protecting rights and freedoms and bringing the country together) offers some hope.”
Concern over terrorist attacks happening in the U.S. is the only item that shows big movement over the last year, up 23 points since May when 50% were worried. The main driving force behind that jump in worry are Democrats, 66% are extremely or very concerned now versus 37% in May, though worry is up across the board.
The terrorist group Hamas’s horrific attack on Israel took place October 7.
One reason Republicans hold wide advantages on certain issues is Democrats think Republicans can handle some better than their own party. About one in five Democrats prefer Republicans on border security (22% say R), crime (18%), terrorism (18%), and inflation (17%).
On the other side, sizable numbers of Republicans think Democrats are better on transgender issues (30% say D), climate (26%), and abortion (24%).
“There has been a lot of talk recently that Biden is providing a drag on the Democratic Party, but the opposite could also be true,” says Anderson. “Even though most haven’t felt improvements from Biden’s economic policies, indications are they will by next year. And assuming it’s a Biden-Trump rematch, Democrats will put their worries about their party behind them once the choice is Trump’s promised second term of revenge or giving Biden another term to continue work on issues they care about.”
While Democrats and Republicans share concern over inflation, threats to personal freedoms, and political divisions within the country, the order and degree varies.
Top concerns among Democrats are gun laws (88%), political divisions (85%), inflation (84%), abortion policy (83%), climate change (83%), and threats to personal rights (81%).
For Republicans, it’s inflation (96%), crime (89%), threats to personal rights (87%), border security (85%), attacks by Islamic terrorists (83%), and political divisions (83%).
Conducted November 10-13, 2023, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,001 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points for all registered voters.