The 2022 Race for the House, in Four Districts, and Four Polls

Swing-district polls by The New York Times and Siena College show how the midterm races are being shaped by larger, surprising forces, beyond the traditional red and blue divide.

Pennsylvania’s Eighth District includes Dunmore in the state’s old industrial heartland.Credit…Peter Crosby for The New York Times

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By Shane Goldmacher and Nate Cohn

President Biden is unpopular everywhere. Economic concerns are mounting. Abortion rights are popular but social issues are more often secondary.

A new series of House polls by The New York Times and Siena College across four archetypal swing districts offers fresh evidence that Republicans are poised to retake Congress this fall as the party dominated among voters who care most about the economy.

Democrats continue to show resilience in places where abortion is still high on the minds of voters, and where popular incumbents are on the ballot. Indeed, the Democrats were still tied or ahead in all four districts — three of which were carried by Mr. Biden in 2020. But the party’s slim majority — control could flip if just five seats change hands — demands that it essentially run the table everywhere, at a moment when the economy has emerged as the driving issue in all but the country’s wealthier enclaves.

The poll results in the four districts — an upscale suburb in Kansas, the old industrial heartland of Pennsylvania, a fast-growing part of Las Vegas and a sprawling district along New Mexico’s southern border — offer deeper insights beyond the traditional Republican and Democratic divide in the race for Congress. They show how the midterm races are being shaped by larger and at times surprising forces that reflect the country’s ethnic, economic and educational realignment.

“The economy thing affects everyone while the social thing affects a minority,” said Victor Negron, a 30-year-old blackjack dealer who lives in Henderson, Nev., and who was planning to vote for the Republican vying to flip the seat from a Democratic incumbent. “If everyone’s doing good, then who cares what else everyone else is doing.”

The Four Districts Polled

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