AUSTIN, Texas - The midterm elections are quickly approaching, and a new poll shows Americans think there is a lot on the line this November.
According to an Associated Press poll, 7 out of 10 Americans think the results of the midterms will have a significant impact on the country's future. Democrats at 74% are the most concerned group in the findings.
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County GOP, join FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
MIKE: Katie, why do you think Democrats believe the midterm is so important?
KATIE: Literally, our democracy and how we have elections is on the line here. The Republican Party has over 200 election deniers that are running, too, as members of Congress or in different elections. And when you have folks who are questioning the fundamental fabric and agreement as to we, the voters and our representation and our voice being represented by elected officials, that's a great concern when it comes to our electoral process. And, you know, I think it's a really important question to ask, Matt and Republicans, you know, do they accept the election results of 2020 and what will they do if there is a Democrat statewide that gets elected? Will they accept those results?
MIKE: Matt Mackowiak, Do you think Republican voters are motivated enough to go out and elect their people?
MATT: Well, sure. I think the intensity is high on the Republican side. I think to some extent it's on the Democratic side as well, and that remains to be seen. If you just look at Real Clear Politics, which averages the top polls from around the country on direction of the country, you have 67.5% believing the country is headed in the wrong direction. So Katie has a really tough sales job with those kinds of numbers. President Biden's job approval is 43 approve, 54 disapprove. Right. So the overall environment is its clear the electorate feels like the country's head in the wrong direction, that the president is failing and that it's time for a change. And then finally, if you look at the generic congressional ballot, Republicans have a slight 1.8% average advantage nationally. So, look, it's going to be very close. We're going to have a lot of close races. That's true in Texas. It's true in battleground races, in U.S. Senate races across the country and congressional races. And yes, the stakes are very high. It's hard to remember a midterm election where the stakes were higher.
MIKE: Katie, what happens if Republicans do well, they gain control of the House or the Senate? What's the scenario?
KATIE: You see the issues that Republicans love to blame the economy and blame President Biden for the economy when the entire world is having issues as it pertains to inflation, especially with the war and Ukraine and what the Russians are trying to do in regard to driving up fuel prices. The only party that's been focused on passing real solutions is the Democratic Party. And so just like, you know, Matt wants to give you a bunch of numbers. The governor's approval ratings are not great either. And in fact, a majority of Texans find that Texas is headed in the wrong direction. And when you have people paying astronomical property taxes, the fact that Texans are paying in terms of dollars more in taxes than what you see from folks who live in California, there's a lot on the line. But when it comes to the election itself, we have to know, will Republicans exit that respect and accept the election process when they have folks denying the elections left and right? And so, you know, Governor Abbott does he accept the 2020 election results. And if there is if it's a tight race in Texas for the governor's race, what will he do to ensure the integrity of that process?
MIKE: Matt Mackowiak, last word for you.
MATT: Oh, I don't even know where to begin. Katie's up. Katie's glue going to lose races in Texas if she's focused on the past. Elections are always about the future. And so for the average voter, they're looking at their pocketbook. They're around their kitchen table. They're trying to decide, is their life better now than it was two years ago? And very, very few people around the country believe their life is better. But look, candidates have to make the argument directly to the voters. The governor's done that. Generally speaking, in public polling is up 5 to 7%. And I do think it's going be a very close race for governor. But these races are going to all be very important. But again, winning candidates make arguments about the future, about how they're going to make life better. They don't look backwards. Right now, what you're hearing from Democrats is looking backwards.
MIKE: We're out of time now. So both sides still well entrenched as I see. Katie. Matt, thank you both very much.